Southern Africa Humanitarian Emergency Growing In Aftermath Of Cyclone Idai, Aid Workers Say

New York Times: Cyclone Idai May Be ‘One of the Worst’ Disasters in the Southern Hemisphere
“Cyclone Idai, the storm that battered cities, submerged homes, and killed at least 200 people in southeastern Africa, may prove to be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever in the Southern Hemisphere, a United Nations official said on Tuesday. Officials with global aid groups and in Mozambique, where the storm hit hardest, are only beginning to reckon with its destruction. Potentially 1.7 million people were in the direct path of the cyclone, the United Nations estimated on Tuesday, and rain is forecast to continue in parts of the region for several days…” (Yuhas, 3/19).

U.N. News: Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour,’ warns U.N. food agency
“The full scale of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai in south-east Africa is becoming clearer, the U.N. said on Tuesday, warning that the emergency ‘is getting bigger by the hour.’ … ‘We are talking about a massive disaster right now where hundreds of thousands — in the millions of people — (are) potentially affected,’ said Jens Laerke from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). ‘We need all the logistical support that we can possibly get’…” (3/19).

Wall Street Journal: Cyclone Shows Climate Change’s Deadly Impact on Poor, Urbanizing Nations
“The tropical cyclone that tore through Mozambique and other Southern African nations has spotlighted how the combination of rapid urbanization and climate change is turning deadly in some of the world’s poorest places. … The storm and the destruction it has left in its path have renewed questions about how poor countries with long coastlines are adapting to climate change — and whether the rest of the world is helping enough…” (Bariyo/Steinhauser, 3/19).

Washington Post: ‘Everything is destroyed’: Mozambique fears massive human toll from Cyclone Idai
“…Heavy rains are expected to continue through the week. The United Nations estimated that more than 2.5 million people need immediate assistance. And with the crops and homes of thousands of families destroyed, a prolonged humanitarian crisis appeared inevitable…” (Bearak, 3/19).

Additional coverage of the storm’s aftermath is available from Al Jazeera, New York Times, Reuters (2), and VOA News.

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