Cyclone Idai was already the deadliest storm system in 2019 before it made landfall on Thursday evening in central Mozambique, and damage reports are only just beginning to come in. Prior to Thursday, 66 people had died in Mozambique and 56 in Malawi from Idai system-related flooding.
— Direct Relief (@DirectRelief) March 15, 2019
An estimated 500,000 people weathered the cyclone in total darkness as the eye passed directly over the Mozambique City of Beira, bringing sustained winds of 109 mph and wind gusts up to 132 mph, according to the national weather service of Mozambique.
Damage assessments are just beginning, and parts of Zambezia and Sofala provinces had already been inundated with flooding when the cyclone made landfall. It is likely the vast areas of flood water are isolating many communities, which may severely hamper relief efforts over the next week.
Direct Relief is communicating with local partners, including the Real Medicine Foundation, which has a long-running mobile medical outreach program in partnership with the Zambezia Ministry of Health. Direct Relief has offered medical support to the Zambezia Ministry of Health via its local partner and they will also be reaching out to health authorities in Sofala province.