India sends three ships with humanitarian aid to Mozambique

India has announced that it will send three ships with humanitarian aid to the city of Beira in central Mozambique, devastated by Cyclone Idai’s passage on Thursday.

New Delhi “has decided to divert three Indian naval vessels [INS Sujatha, INS Shardul and INS Sarathi] to the port city of Beira to provide immediate assistance and assistance to those affected,” according to a statement on Monday on the official Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The three Indian ships will arrive in the city of Beira, the fourth largest in Mozambique, loaded with “food, clothing and medicines.” In addition, onboard will be “three doctors and five nurses to provide immediate medical care,” said the same note.

More than 1.5 million people were affected in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe by cyclone Idai, which caused at least 222 deaths, according to estimates by the governments of these countries.

The cyclone, with heavy rains and winds of up to 170 kilometres per hour, hit Beira on Thursday night, leaving some 500,000 residents without power and lines of communication.

On Monday, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said that the number of deaths in the country due to Cyclone Idai could exceed 1,000, with 84 confirmed today, most of them in Beira.

In the region of Beira, where an advanced team of the Portuguese embassy in Maputo is since Sunday, there are about 2,500 Portuguese, according to the office of the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities. The Portuguese government announced on Monday that it did not register “Portuguese citizens killed, injured or in danger” in areas affected by the storm, but “several tens have lost homes and property.

Cáritas Portuguesa announced on Monday that it will send 25,000 euros to help, showing availability for more support. For its part, the World Food Program (WFP), which coordinates the UN humanitarian response in Mozambique, has requested 35 million euros to help victims of Cyclone Idai.

In Malawi, government estimates indicate that more than 920,000 people have been affected in the 14 affected districts, including 460,000 children. There are records of at least 56 dead and 577 injured.

In Zimbabwe, the authorities’ estimate was of some 1,600 homes and 8,000 people affected in the Chimanimani district of Manicaland, with 82 deaths and 217 missing persons.

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