Cyclone Idai has caused losses worth an estimated $2.9 trillion (KSh292.4 trillion) in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, the United Nations reported on Sunday, terming it the worst disaster to have hit southern Africa in decades.
The report was given at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 7th Session of the Conference of Parties (CoP) of the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Agency.
The figures were part of a presentation by Ms Dolika Banda, the chief executive of the ARC’s insurance arm.
UN agencies and the Red Cross are among organisations that have appealed for funds for relief for the victims of the tropical cyclone.
On Friday, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) asked for $19 million in short-term aid for farmers, fishers and other food producers in Mozambique.
According to the AFP news agency, FAO estimates that the amount would provide three months’ support for local populations largely dependent on agriculture.
With the cyclone came the deaths of more than 1,000 people, displacement of over 500,000 and the fear of disease outbreaks. At least five cases of cholera have been reported in Mozambique.
Earlier, the UN said that at least 1.7 million people had been affected by the cyclone. Hundreds are missing.
Cyclones, also known as hurricanes or typhoons, are the most violent storms in our planet.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), only cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or or eastern Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes.
They all form in the same manner and typically weaken after making landfall, but often move far inland, bringing heavy rains and causing wind damage before dying out.
In February 2008, Cylone Ivan ripped through the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar with winds of over 200kmh, killing at least 26 people. It devastated 45,000 acres of rice fields and left at least 14,000 homeless.
The following month, Cyclone Jokwe skimmed past northern Madagascar with winds at 160kmh, bringing heavy rains to coastal Mozambique. In that county, it left at least 16 people dead and affected 200,000 people.
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