Cyclone Idai destroys Chimanimani, 24 people dead

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Tawanda Marwizi

…. The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has embarked on an emergency relief programme for people affected by the Cyclone Idai that has hit some parts of Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East Provinces.

The organisation is working closely with the Civil Protection Unity to rescue those affected.

Maxwell Phiri who is the secretary general for Zim Red Cross said they have already rolled out their teams to the affected areas and are distributing relief materials to the affected families.

“Our teams are already on the ground distributing relief material. We have a truck heading to Chimanimani directly as we speak. We are also distributing relief materials to Mash East and Masvingo Provinces,” said Phiri.

Chimanimani is said to be the most affected area and at least 24 people are said to have died, according to the Ministry of Information while 150 are reportedly missing. Areas affected include Chimanimani Urban, Charleshood Farm, Machongwe, Vhimba and Kopa Growth Point.

According to Chimanimani East legistlator Joshua Sacco, in ward 15 area a flash flood and mudslide resulted in more than 30 houses being washed away. He pleaded with individiuals and organisations to assist the affected with food and tents.

“In the old location five houses have collapsed so far. The Haroni river in Ward 12 Charleshood has burst its banks and many villagers have been displaced. The Nyahode River at Kopa Business Centre has also burst its banks resulting in the flooding of Gata Police camp and surrounding homes.”

Major rivers like the Rusitu are in flood and this has affected villagers in the Vhimba area. Villagers at Manase in ward 13 have also had their houses washed away. Power has been disrupted and major bridges have been blocked by the flooded waters like Machongwe, Nhedziwa, Charleshood etc.

The bridge at Pondo farm has been swept away. “The situation is drastic and there is need for assistance in tents , food, blankets for the affected people” Sacco said.