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Cyclone lays waste to large parts of Mozambique

Tavares Cebola, DPA on

Published in Weather News

MAPUTO, Mozambique -- "Total destruction," is how one resident of Beira described the Mozambican city in the aftermath of cyclone Idai.

"Not even photos can accurately show the extent of destruction. Fallen trees, destroyed houses," engineer Imran Abdul Sacur told dpa on Tuesday in the capital Maputo, where he had travelled to pick up essential supplies.

Sacur's family survived the deluge, but are now camped out at another relative's house, he said, adding that prices are rising in the wake of the disaster.

"Prices are rising exponentially ... A single candle would cost you 50 Mozambican meticals (0.8 dollars)," he said.

"Most ATMs are not working in Beira so I'm withdrawing as much money as I can in Maputo," he told dpa.

Many Mozambicans were still without power and water on Tuesday, days after cyclone Idai wreaked havoc across parts of Southern Africa.

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The official death toll in Mozambique stands at 84, though the country's president said on Monday he feared it could reach as high as 1,000.

Red Cross and Red Crescent helpers reported that 90 per cent of buildings had been destroyed in Beira.

As many as 400,000 people are thought to have been displaced by the storm and the flooding it caused.

UN operations in Mozambique are currently focussed on saving people who are surrounded by flood water, UN officials said.

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