More than 215 people have died as the deadly Cyclone Idai battered Mozambique and Zimbabwe on Monday. Hundreds more are still missing and officials have confirmed the death toll could eventually reach up to 1,000. In addition, tens of thousands of people, mainly in poor and rural areas, were cut off from roads and telephones as the dangerous weather system hit.
The horrifying cyclone has in total affected more than 1.5 million people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, according to the UN and government officials.
According to the Red Cross, as much as 90 percent of Mozambique’s central port city of Beira has also been damaged or destroyed by the cyclone.
Jamie LeSueur, who led a Red Cross aerial assessment of the city said the scale of the damage to Beira is “massive and horrifying”.
Path of Cyclone Idai
Cyclone Idai has tracked westward after the powerful storm reach mainland in southern Africa on Monday.
The devastating cyclone is currently located approximately 390 miles west-northwest of Europa Island.
The initial intensity is set at 103mph due to the diminishing eyeball convection and warming cloud tops.
At first, deadly Cyclone Idai tracked into north-central Mozambique as a tropical depression with torrential rain during the first week of March.
The cyclone then moved over water and rapidly strengthened over the northern Mozambique Channel over the weekend and early this week.
While the dangerous weather system has weakened into a tropical storm over Mozambique, residents of the country and neighbouring Zimbabwe should not let their guard down.
According the AccuWeather, the storm can continue to unload torrential and flooding rain over the areas into Wednesday.
The weather service also added these areas could see rain up to 30 inches.
This could potentially lead to life-threatening mudslides and communities being drowned in flood waters.
From Wednesday drier weather is expected.
Recovery efforts are likely to take weeks or even months due to the extensive damage.