Mozambique: Cholera cases reported in cyclone-hit areas

Tens of thousands in southern Africa need help after cyclone

As survivors gathered in informal camps and health officials warned of the danger of cholera and other diseases, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said the situation on the ground was critical with no electricity or running water.

The death toll in Mozambique has climbed to 417 after a cyclone devastated swathes of the country, the government said.

"In addition to thousands of people having lost their lives, the destruction of people's homes, and overall infrastructure and crops is devastating, and will continue to negatively impact on the lives of millions of our neighbours for a very long time".

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Saturday that the Buzi and Zambezi rivers were at risk of breaking their banks again.

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Preliminary estimations indicated that more than 1000 people died in Mozambique alone, and that hundreds more died in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi. The Pungue and Buzi rivers had burst their river banks and as a effect vast inland lakes had been created, extending for miles and miles in all directions, he said.

Cyclone Idai smashed into the coast of central Mozambique on Friday last week, unleashing hurricane-force winds and rains that flooded the hinterland and drenched eastern Zimbabwe.

"Conservative estimations indicate that at least 600,000 were in urgent need of help". While nearly 90,000 people have been saved, according to the National Institute of Disaster Management, at least 600,000 people have been displaced, the WFP said.

In a statement Sisulu said: "South African companies have responded to the call".

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