The Latest: UN allocates $20 million to aid cyclone victims
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The latest on tropical cyclone (all times local):
12:10 a.m. Wednesday
The United Nations has allocated $20 million from its emergency response fund for the humanitarian response to Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said Tuesday that "the bulk of the funding will kick start the response in worst-hit Mozambique." He said rapid assessments of immediate needs are underway.
But Lowcock stresses that the $20 million is insufficient to respond to the expected increase in needs. He urges donors to generously contribute.
He says the U.N. funds will complement efforts by the three governments to provide health care, food, protection and education to affected communities. The money will also help humanitarian groups in critical areas such as reviving emergency telecommunications and scaling up the provision of water and health services.
Mozambique's president says more than 200 people are confirmed dead in his country alone after a tropical cyclone roared ashore in the southern African nation over the weekend.
President Filipe Nyusi announced the death toll while meeting with his ministers in the largely destroyed city of Beira, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reported late Tuesday.
The president also announced three days of national mourning and said his government would declare a national emergency.
Hundreds of thousands of people remain at risk as rivers burst their banks, torrential rains continue and flood waters rise, stranding some people on rooftops and in trees.
Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains.
International aid agencies and government officials are scrambling Tuesday to rescue families trapped by the floodwaters from rivers that have burst their banks and are still rising.
Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said the death toll could go as high as 1,000 from the cyclone and flooding. Although emergency workers caution they do not know if the fatalities will reach that estimate, they say this is the most destructive flooding in 20 years.
Hardest hit by the cyclone is Mozambique's Beira port, a city of 500,000, where thousands of homes have been destroyed. Flooding waters have inundated large areas of rural Mozambique and its neighboring countries.