Cyclone Idai swept across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on March 14, 2019, leaving behind a trail of destruction, killing hundreds and affecting an estimated 2.6 million people. The full scale of the disaster is still unfolding, and more heavy rain is forecast. Delivery of food and clean water to those in need is critical.
The cyclone caused massive destruction to infrastructure, particularly in Beira, a city with more than 500,000 residents, and surrounding towns and villages. The entire area is without power. Major road networks have been completely blocked, airlifting supplies to Beira and isolated villages surrounded by flood waters is the only option.
Flying over Beira, the true destruction of the cyclone’s power is apparent with residential homes torn open – roofs missing or collapsed – while fallen trees and scattered debris blanket the city. Amidst the miles of flooded farm land, the occasional hut is visible, crumbling in the water.
The town of Guara Guara, 30 miles west of Beira and the highest point in the area, is now home to an estimated 1,300 people with more arriving every day from surrounding villages.
CARE and its partners have airlifted family-sized tents, buckets and emergency kits (which include blankets, mosquito nets and other supplies) as well as water, food and medical aid. Relief efforts will continue as the situation develops.