‘Worst-Ever’ Storm Hits Southern Hemisphere

Cyclone Idai could be the worst disaster the southern hemisphere has ever seen.

With wind speeds reaching 194 km per hour, the storm has whipped through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, affecting over 2.6 million people, The Guardian reports. The UN has warned that floodwaters are expected to rise significantly in the coming days, putting more at risk, according to ReliefWeb.

Official death tolls—totaling some 350 across the 3 countries—“only scratch the surface,” writes Ruth Maclean. The 500,000-person port city of Beira, Mozambique is almost entirely cut off, leaving stranded people clinging to trees and rooftops. With water pipelines reportedly cut, the risk of cholera and typhoid outbreaks is mounting.

With homes, roads and bridges destroyed and submerged, air rescue teams must make heart-wrenching decisions: “We just save what we can save and the others will perish,” said Ian Scher of Rescue SA.

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