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More Cyclone Idai bodies retrieved

by Staff reporter
24 Mar 2019 at 13:58hrs | Views
Many bodies of victims of Cyclone Idai have been retrieved from mudslides and other debris of collapsed buildings in Chimanimani, but are yet to be identified, government said yesterday.

Local Government minister July Moyo told The Standard that some of the bodies were washed into Mozambique, where they had been buried without identification after locals in the Chimanimani and Chipinge area failed to identify them.

He said rescue operations were ongoing despite the challenges of identifying some of the victims who were not known by locals.

"We have bodies of victims of Cyclone Idai that were buried in Mozambique. Before being buried in Mozambique, their pictures were sent to locals so that they could identify them, but none was identified," Moyo said.

"We also have other bodies on our side, I mean the Zimbabwe side, of people who have been retrieved, but not identified.

"From the look of things, because Rusitu was a commercial hub which used to have a banana market where people from various centres of the country came to, it is possible that some of these people were in the area to buy bananas and do not come from this area.

"We also have gold mining, I really don't know the nature of it and it also attracted people across the country and some could either be buyers or miners from the sites."

Moyo said so far rescue missions had managed to reach areas that were inaccessible in the past weeks since the deadly cyclone swept through and left many dead and property worth millions destroyed in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

He said the roads were now accessible and food relief could now reach those affected by the cyclone.

"The uniformed forces and community members are working tirelessly at the Skyline juncture to aid transport and human movement. We have managed to reach Kopa-Rusitu where it was not accessible. We navigated this route so that relief can reach the area fast by road," said Moyo.

The minister said police had also cleared families to proceed with the burial of remains of those identified while bodies of those who were yet to be identified were still being kept at a nearby hospital.

At least 259 deaths have so far been confirmed in Zimbabwe but hundreds remain missing amid reports that hundreds of bodies have been washed ashore in Mozambique while scores of other victims have been buried in mud in areas such as Kopa in Chipinge, which was totally destroyed by the violent storm and floods.

Source - the standard