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Mozambique rescuers evacuate people from flooded areas after Cyclone Idai

A man searches for missing family members with his dog on March 18, 2019 in Ngangu township, Chimanimani, Manicaland Province, eastern Zimbabwe, after the area was hit by the cyclone Idai. (AFP)

Rescuers in Mozambique's flooded city of Beira evacuated people from areas hit by Cyclone Idai on Monday after it devastated the port city, with nearly 90 percent of the area destroyed.

Cylone survivors leave the Ngangu township with their belongings to Chimanimani Hotel where hundreds are sheltered  on March 18, 2019 in Ngangu township Chimanimani, Manicaland Province, eastern Zimbabwe, after the area was hit by the cyclone Idai. (AFP)

In the early hours of Monday morning, rescuers launched dinghies into inundated areas to navigate through reeds and trees, where some people perched on branches to escape the flooding water.

In Beira, Mozambique's fourth-largest city and home to 500,000 people, a large dam burst further complicating rescue efforts.

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi said on Monday the number of people killed in the powerful storm and preceding floods in Mozambique could exceed 1,000, putting the potential death toll greatly more than current figures.

Only 84 deaths have been confirmed so far in Mozambique as a result of the cyclone, which has also left a trail of death and destruction across Zimbabwe and Malawi, with vast areas of land flooded, roads destroyed and communication wiped out.

The port of Beira is a gateway for imports to landlocked countries in Southern Africa.


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