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Relief organisations in Beira to escalate rescue efforts for stranded victims

It’s been more than one week since Cyclone Idai hit the city which has already claimed the lives of 293 people according to official records in Mozambique.

FILE: People walk on the flooded street of Buzi, central Mozambique, on 20 March 2019 after the passage of the cyclone Idai. International aid agencies raced on 20 March to rescue survivors and meet spiralling humanitarian needs in three impoverished countries battered by one of the worst storms to hit southern Africa in decades. Picture: AFP

BEIRA/JOHANNESBURG - Relief organisations in Beira, Mozambique, are escalating relief efforts to rescue people who are stranded in flood waters.

It’s been more than one week since Cyclone Idai hit the city which has already claimed the lives of 293 people according to official records in Mozambique.

Helicopters from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), rescue organisations and the United Nations are taking off at the Beira Airport, with supplies and rescuers.

WATCH: Cyclone Idai: Beira Hospital surgical wing destroyed

Much-needed supplies such as food and shelter have been brought in and will be taken to the those still stranded on rooftops.

The United Nations’ Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said: “We’ve been ramping up every day and more people are arriving; the 737s bringing in an enormous amount of equipment. That equipment services goods and services to people who need our help.

Between 15 and 20 tons of aid are being transported today alone to areas in need.

Meanwhile, the SANDF said the situation on the ground in Malawi and Mozambique will determine the period of time deployed teams will spend in the region.

The Environmental Ministry in Mozambique said the situation is getting better but still critical.

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said: “We have a team of medical, we have a team of engineers, search and rescue and team to identify people who have been stranded.”

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