Mozambique: The death toll in Mozambique floods reached 417 after Cyclone Idai devastated the southern region of Africa, flooding thousands of square kilometres (miles), said the government on Saturday. A week after the incident, a dam in Zimbabwe overflowed due to the flooding, posing a threat to the riverside populations.

Spokesman Herve Verhoosel of the World Food Program reportedly stated that the ‘alarming news’ of the flooding of the Marowanyati dam in Zimbabwe in heavy rains have put populations in the region at risk. The 400,000 displaced people were “in urgent need of life-saving assistance” in Mozambique’s Beira and the flooded areas along the Pungue and Buzi rivers, said UN Food aid agency. Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted on Friday about the devastating effects of the cyclone.

Last week on Friday, the cyclone hit the coast of central Mozambique, flooding eastern Zimbabwe due to the hurricane-force winds and rains. “Most of the bodies were washed into Mozambique and because they were in a really bad state, they could not keep the bodies,” said Defense Minister of Zimbabwe Oppah Muchinguri adding, “So they ended up burying them.”

The floods in one of Africa’s poorest countries have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people. There are 111 people with injuries, 18 hospitals destroyed, 938 classrooms destroyed and 9,763 students affected. More than 168,000 hectares of crops were also destroyed, added a government spokeswoman on March 13.

(With agency inputs)