Zimbabwe death toll rises to 64 after Cyclone Idai pounds country

By REUTERS
March 17, 2019 20:14
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HARARE - Cyclone Idai has killed at least 64 people in eastern Zimbabwe and destroyed homes, bridges and roads, making rescue efforts difficult, a government minister said on Sunday.

The tropical storm has already pounded neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique. The latter has cut electricity exports to South Africa, which led to rolling blackouts in Africa's most industrialised economy."The death toll has risen from 31 to over 64 now. Some of the bodies have been found floating along the rivers," July Moyo, the local government minister told reporters.

"There are a number of people who are missing."

The government has declared a state of disaster in the eastern Chimanimani district, which borders Mozambique, allowing authorities to release funds to assist affected families.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who faced criticism from citizens and the opposition for travelling to the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, said he was cutting his trip short to make sure he was "involved directly with the national response."

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