Cyclone Idai: CARE gears up to support Mozambique and Malawi as enormous cyclone threatens Southern Africa

"In a storm of this magnitude there is the potential for widespread damage."

CARE International experts are working with the governments of Malawi and Mozambique to prepare for Cyclone Idai which is expected to make landfall tonight (Thursday, 14 March 2019).

Heavy rains and flooding across Malawi and Mozambique over the past 5 days have already affected nearly 843,000 people; and caused at least 60 deaths according to preliminary reports from the respective Governments.

Matthew Pickard, CARE Malawi’s country director warned: “Cyclone Idai could be life-threatening for millions of people in Mozambique and Malawi.

“CARE - together with other humanitarian organizations - is working with Governments in both countries to help people prepare for the cyclone. For CARE, the protection of children, women and girls is a priority.

“We also note that the coping capacity of the affected population is limited, due to the impact of previous week’s heavy rains and floods. Although many have been moved from villages and other settlements to safer shelters, we are aware that there are still a lot of communities needing urgent support. The immediate priority needs are shelter, water and sanitation facilities, food and health assistance."

Idai is expected to make landfall near Beira - Mozambique's fourth largest city with 530,000 residents - before midnight as an intense tropical cyclone. Preceding rains and floods over the past week led the President of Malawi to declare a State of Disaster in affected areas. In Mozambique, Idai is expected to cause large-scale power and communications outages and shut down road and transport networks.

Marc Nosbach, CARE Mozambique’s country director, said: "Cyclone Idai could potentially become the most devastating cyclone to hit Mozambique in the past 10 years. In a storm of this magnitude there is the potential for widespread damage to crops and livestock in the low-lying areas and houses could be destroyed. So, while we are preparing for the worst, we are praying that Idai loses intensity.”

“In both Malawi and Mozambique, CARE is using internal emergency funds to respond to the evolving humanitarian needs and in Mozambique to deploy contingency aid stocks of non-food items and water sanitation materials. As part of our Emergency Response Consortium (COSACA), staff have already been responding to the floods disaster and we have others on standby for assessment and initial immediate response in the affected areas.”

-30-

CARE has spokespeople available. Contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada
darcy.knoll@care.ca | 613-228-5641