British Red Cross has launched an emergency fundraising appeal in response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai across areas of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Heavy rain is predicted over the next few days, as floods have already cut off towns and villages, washed away roads and damaged thousands of homes. Many areas are still inaccessible, and flood survivors have sought refuge in trees and on the roofs of buildings. In Mozambique, large areas close to Buzi and Pungwe rivers have been severely flooded, by up to several metres.
Local Red Cross volunteers are involved in search and rescue operations, aid distribution and facilities for temporary camps. British Red Cross have provided 2,000 tarpaulins, 3,000 mosquito nets and 3,000 blankets from their regional warehouse in Harare to the Zimbabwe Red Cross, and released some emergency funds via their existing Community Resilience Programme in Zimbabwe.
The total population of the flood affected areas is still being verified and rescue efforts are ongoing. Authorities in Mozambique fear the death toll could exceed 1,000. Damage caused by the cyclone is making it hard to assess the level of devastation and some affected areas are still inaccessible. In some places, roads and bridges have been damaged or washed away.
In Mozambique, the city of Beira has suffered 90 per cent damage or destruction, and the last access road was cut off after a dam burst. Satellite imaging is urgently needed to get an overview of the true extent of the flooding. The humanitarian community is working together with the European Space Agency and the North American Space Agency to get this information, and to secure crucial air resources for assessments.
To donate to the British Red Cross Cyclone Idai appeal, go to www.redcross.org.uk/idai.
By post: Cyclone Idai Appeal, British Red Cross, Cyclone Idai Appeal, 44 Moorfields, London, EC2Y 9AL
By phone: 0300 023 0811