Harrowing scenes after Cyclone Idai with inland ocean visible from outer space
Beira, Mozambique (CNN)As many as “300 to 400” bodies line the banks of a road out of the city of Beira in Mozambique, according to an eyewitness account, and flood waters have formed an inland ocean that is visible from outer space.
The harrowing scene, described by Zimbabwean Graham Taylor, suggests that the human toll of Cyclone Idai is likely to far exceed official estimates. It follows reports from aid agencies on the ground detailing how entire villages and towns have been completely flooded in the wake of last Thursday’s high-end Category 2 storm.
Taylor said the bodies were located on a 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) track of highway, where flood waters had created an inland ocean, submerging entire villages around a “densely populated” sugar cane plantation. The area is a mere fraction of the land in the southeast African nation left flooded after two major rivers burst their banks in the days following the storm.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that the destruction left by the cyclone is “worse than we imagined” and warned that the humanitarian needs “will tragically only deepen in the coming weeks.”
In a statement, IFRC said that flooding creates ideal conditions for disease outbreaks.
“Already, some cholera cases have been reported in Beira along with an increasing number of malaria infections among people trapped by the flooding,” read the statement.
Flooding is so extreme in Buzi, central Mozambique, that the water can be seen in satellite images from outer space.