Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa

Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
Women and men pick up bricks from a collapsed house to build another structure in Beira, Mozambique, Sunday, March, 31, 2019. Cholera cases among cyclone survivors in Mozambique have jumped to 271, authorities said. So far no cholera deaths have been confirmed, the report said. Another Lusa report said the death toll in central Mozambique from the cyclone that hit on March 14 had inched up to 501. Authorities have warned the toll is highly preliminary as flood waters recede and reveal more bodies. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The death toll from the cyclone that ripped into southern Africa last month is now above 1,000, while the number of cholera cases among survivors has risen above 4,000.

The United Nations has described Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi nearly a month ago, as "one of the deadliest storms on record in the ."

Zimbabwe's information minister on Tuesday said the toll in that country has risen to 344. Mozambique has reported 602 deaths and Malawi at least 59.

Zimbabwe's efforts are now "confined to recovery of the deceased" and the government will send pathologists to Mozambique to help identify bodies, said Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa. An unknown number of Zimbabweans were washed down mountainsides into Mozambique, which also has turned from search and recovery efforts to relief work providing food and shelter to survivors.

Zimbabwe, whose economy is badly struggling, said it needs $612 million to assist survivors and has appealed for international support.

A final is yet to be established and might never be known.

A cholera outbreak among survivors was declared in Mozambique on March 27 and had led to 4,072 cases and seven deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to government figures.

  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A South African Policeman guides his sniffer dog as they search through mud and rubble for bodies of those killed during Cyclone Idai near Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, Thursday, March 28, 2019. The cyclone-hit community in Zimbabwe paused from retrieving and burying their dead to welcome the first humanitarian aid from the outside world as it arrived nearly two weeks after the storm. (AP Photo/Shepherd Tozvireva)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    In this photo taken Saturday, April 6, 2019 a boy watches a demonstration of water filters in the remote village of Bopira, Mozambique. Crops across the region were destroyed by Cyclone Idai just before the harvest, raising concerns about hunger in the months ahead. (AP Photo/Cara Anna)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    Children carry books damaged by the cyclone at a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Dombe, about 280km west of Beira, Mozambique, Thursday, April 4, 2019. The Indian Ocean port of Beira, a city of 500,000, is where most of the more than 1,400 cases of cholera have been reported since the outbreak was declared a week ago in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. Mozambican authorities have reported two deaths so far from the acute diarrheal disease, which can kill within hours if not properly treated. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A man waits to receive food aid outside a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Dombe, about 280km west of Beira, Mozambique, Thursday, April 4, 2019. The Indian Ocean port of Beira, a city of 500,000, is where most of the more than 1,400 cases of cholera have been reported since the outbreak was declared a week ago in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. Mozambican authorities have reported two deaths so far from the acute diarrheal disease, which can kill within hours if not properly treated. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A woman fetches water from an unprotected source in Beira, Mozambique, Sunday, March, 31, 2019. Cholera cases among cyclone survivors in Mozambique have jumped to 271, authorities said. So far no cholera deaths have been confirmed, the report said. Another Lusa report said the death toll in central Mozambique from the cyclone that hit on March 14 had inched up to 501. Authorities have warned the toll is highly preliminary as flood waters recede and reveal more bodies. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A mother bathes her baby in a bucket at a camp for displaced survivors of Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, Sunday, March, 31, 2019. Cholera cases among cyclone survivors in Mozambique have jumped to 271, authorities said. So far no cholera deaths have been confirmed, the report said. Another Lusa report said the death toll in central Mozambique from the cyclone that hit on March 14 had inched up to 501. Authorities have warned the toll is highly preliminary as flood waters recede and reveal more bodies. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    Women and children are outside a displacement camp in Beira, Mozambique, Sunday, March, 31, 2019. Mozambican authorities say the number of cholera cases among cyclone survivors has risen to 271. The cases have been discovered in the port city of Beira, raising the stakes in an already desperate fight to help hundreds of thousands of people sheltering in increasingly squalid conditions.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A young boy is seen outside a displacement camp for survivors of Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, Sunday, March, 31, 2019. Mozambican authorities say the number of cholera cases among cyclone survivors has risen to 271.The cases have been discovered in the port city of Beira, raising the stakes in an already desperate fight to help hundreds of thousands of people sheltering in increasingly squalid conditions.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A woman diagnosed with cholera lies on a bed at a treatment centre in Beira, Mozambique, Saturday, March 30, 2019. Cholera cases among cyclone survivors in Mozambique have jumped to 271, authorities said, a figure that nearly doubled from the previous day. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
  • Cyclone Idai's death toll now above 1,000 in southern Africa
    A South African Policeman guides his sniffer dog as they search through mud and rubble for bodies of those killed during Cyclone Idai near Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, Thursday, March 28, 2019. The cyclone-hit community in Zimbabwe paused from retrieving and burying their dead to welcome the first humanitarian aid from the outside world as it arrived nearly two weeks after the storm. (AP Photo/Shepherd Tozvireva)

Most of the cases of the acute diarrheal disease have been in Mozambique's hard-hit port city of Beira, where running water recently was restored. The system, however, reaches just 60% of the population of roughly 500,000.

More than 745,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine have been distributed since the vaccination campaign launched last week, the government said. Cholera is spread via contaminated water or food and can kill within hours if untreated. Treatment is relatively easy with rehydration and antibiotics.

Now malaria is a growing concern as floodwaters continue to recede in parts of the sodden region. More than 7,500 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported, the government said.


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