Government and humanitarian aid is slowly penetrating Zimbabwe a week after Cyclone Idai. Authorities and aids groups are intensifying relief efforts on the ground as they gain access to the most hard-hit areas.
Food supplies and emergency response units have been dispatched in the region to help the thousands of people affected by the storm. In Chimanimani, a remote mountainous town that was unreachable by road until recently, relief aid and medical and sanitation kits have already arrived. Displaced residents of Chimamani had taken refuge in a primary school and others in a church as they sought higher ground.
Cyclone Idai also affected Mozambique and Malawi. The cyclone claimed the lives of many and left many other homeless. The death toll is expected to rise in all 3 countries as water recedes and bodies that may have been swept downstream are recovered. The death toll is currently above 600.
On Friday, Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe, declared Saturday and Sunday as national days of mourning. In addition, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has warned of the heightened potential for a communicable disease outbreak such as cholera or malaria in Zimbabwe's areas affected by the cyclone.
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