Cyclone death toll climbs in Mozambique

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Published in Weather News

The death toll has risen in Mozambique, the country hardest hit by Cyclone Idai, a government minister said Sunday.

Environment Minister Celso Correia said 446 people were confirmed dead, up from 417 a day earlier. As rescue operations continue these numbers may increase, he said.

"We mapped areas at risk and the good news is that we are bringing people to the accommodation centers," Correia said at a news conference in Beira, the coastal city hardest hit by the cyclone.

The Health Ministry recorded cases of malaria and cholera in centers for the displaced in the central town of Namacurra.

The number of cases has not yet been confirmed, ministry spokesman Augusto Macume said.

Cyclone Idai struck southeast Africa nine days earlier, killing more than 600 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, destroying homes and causing widespread flooding.

Throughout the region, about 600,000 people have been displaced and at least 1.7 million have been affected, according to various United Nations agencies.

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In Zimbabwe, where more than 145 people died and several hundred are still missing, authorities began evacuating residents from the town of Chimanimani Sunday after flood waters weakened a dam wall.

The effects of Cyclone Idai are also being felt farther afield. Uganda's National Meteorological Authority said the climatic effects of the cyclone would affect weather systems along the coast, leading to a delayed rainy season.

Seasonal rains in Uganda usually start in early March and end in May, but the country has been experiencing intense heat waves.

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