SA search team deployed to Zim to retrieve bodies after Cyclone Idai

Hundreds of people are still missing after the cyclone triggered floods, mudslides and rock falls in parts of the country’s eastern highlands.

Cyclone survivors leave the Ngangu township with their belongings to Chimanimani Hotel where hundreds are sheltered on 18 March 2019 in Ngangu township Chimanimani, Manicaland Province, eastern Zimbabwe, after the area was hit by the cyclone Idai. Picture: AFP

BEIRA/HARARE - A team of South Africans with trained dogs is in Zimbabwe to search for bodies nearly two weeks after parts of the country were devastated by Cyclone Idai.

Hundreds of people are still missing after the cyclone triggered floods, mudslides and rock falls in parts of the country’s eastern highlands.

The 12-member team includes members of the South African Police Service.

Gallery: after the storm, relief & shelter for survivors of Cyclone Idai

They’re expected to start work on Wednesday using sniffer dogs in the search for trapped bodies in Chimanimani and surrounding areas.

State media says they’ll be working in teams with local police and army units.

Thirteen days after Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe, the government says at least 327 people are still missing.

Many of those are thought to still be buried beneath mud and boulders in places, like Chimanimani’s Kopa Growth point, which popular trading centre before the storm.

Meanwhile, South African relief organisation the Gift of the Givers said water purification systems would be set up in cyclone-ravaged Mozambique.

At least five cases of the disease have been confirmed by the country's health department and the United Nations.

The UN said Mozambique’s health departmentofficially declared five cases of cholera in the city of Beira and would roll-out treatments and awareness campaigns.

It’s warned of an outbreak if more people drink contaminated water.

The UN’s Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said: “The minister of health just confirmed five cholera cases. We have 900,000 doses of OCV and cholera vaccination arriving this weekend to try and get ahead of what might be an outbreak.”