Death toll rises to 293 in Mozambique

More than 340,000 people remain at risk. Postponed the beginning of census for the October general elections. IMF predicts a "significant" impact of Cyclone Idai's passage in the Mozambican economy.

The death toll from Mozambique's cyclone Idai has risen to 293 on Friday, with 1511 injured still to be accounted, according to data released by the country's National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC).

INGC indicates that almost 345,000 people have been directly affected, who continue to need support and are at risk. Thousands of these people are in isolated places, in some cases for a week already. Many of them on high points or in the treetops, with no access to any food or water.

On the other hand, the rescue operations allowed the rescue of almost 90,000 people in different parts of the country.

On another level, the National Electoral Commission announced the postponement of the beginning of the census for the general elections that were scheduled for October 15. The start of the census was scheduled for April 1.

However, the search for survivors and the 15,000 disappeared continue, among which there are 30 Portuguese citizens in Beira region.

In what is the second largest Mozambican city, and where about 400 thousand of the 500 thousand residents were affected by the effects of bad weather and the passage of Idai on the night of March 14, are registered at the local consulate about 2500 Portuguese.

The passage of Cyclone Idai resulted in the destruction of almost 400 thousand hectares of agricultural land and the total or partial destruction of more than 40 thousand dwellings, according to INGC, more than 40 health units were also affected in the three most affected provinces: Sofala, Manica and Zambézia.

At the level of infrastructures, numerous roads became impassable, totally or partially destroyed, and the destruction of telecommunications facilities was widespread. For the manager of the construction company Visabeira in Mozambique it will be necessary at least five months of intensive work to restore the existing situation before the passage of the Idai, António Jorge Costa explained to Lusa.

According to INGC figures, 120 elements of the Mozambican search and rescue teams, 11 helicopters, two airplanes and about 30 vessels are mobilized, in addition to the international media already present on the ground.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday warned of the high risk of outbreaks of cholera and other infectious diseases, such as malaria as well as measles, in Mozambique and neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi, countries also hit by the passage of Idai.

In addition to the 293 confirmed deaths in Mozambique, Idai caused 259 in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi. In all three countries, it is estimated that about 2.8 million people have been affected by the cyclone.

In the economic chapter, the representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Mozambique, Ari Raisen, admitted on Friday that the economic impact of Idai will be "significant." A Mozambican economist, the academician António Francisco, quoted by Lusa, said that "the effects of the cyclone should force the authorities to make a set of initiatives that were not on the agenda this year, it should compel the Government to review its own budget" and political priorities.

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