March 18, 2019 / 11:43 AM / a year ago

Cyclone Idai devastates Mozambique port city: Red Cross

People walk down a flooded road next to buildings damaged by Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, March 17, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video on March 18, 2019. International Federation Of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies via REUTERS

MAPUTO (Reuters) - Cyclone Idai has caused massive damage to the Mozambican port city of Beira, with nearly 90 percent of the area destroyed, the Red Cross said on Monday.

Mozambican media said about 84 people have died, 68 of those in Beira.

“The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed,” said Jamie LeSueur, who is leading the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) team into Beira.

“Almost everything is destroyed. Communication lines have been completely cut and roads have been destroyed,” he said in a statement.

The port of Beira is a gateway for imports to landlocked countries in Southern Africa.

The Red Cross did not have a casualty toll for Mozambique.

The cyclone has also killed at least 89 people in Zimbabwe.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe in Zimbabwe and Manuel Mucari in Mozambique; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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