Zimbabwe cyclone death toll rises to 40

Zimbabwe president cuts UAE trip to attend Cyclone Idai emergency

'Dozens of casualties' as Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique

The African nations of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi have been hit by a cyclone that has killed almost 150 people, left another 150 missing and stranded tens of thousands of others who are cut off from roads and phones in mainly poor, rural areas. Tens of thousands have been cut off from roads and telephones in mainly poor, rural areas.

United Nations and officials from the three governments said more than 1.5 million people have been affected by the storm.

The Manicaland province of Zimbabwe, which boarders Mozambique, has been heavily affected, with many bridges and other structures having washed away from the natural disaster, IOL reported.

Cyclone Idai barreled across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe with flash floods and ferocious winds, killing people and destroying homes.

This means that the government's response has to be raised a notch higher because more people are in danger of being swept away by floods.

The boarding school was shut as the army, which is leading rescue operations, moved in to take the almost 200 students to safety.

Air force helicopters were rescuing people, but flights were being slowed by the heavy winds, media reports said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa last night declared areas already hit or are likely to be hit by the heavy rains a state of disaster.

Power utility Electricidade de Mocambique said in a statement that the provinces of Manica, Sofala and parts of Inhambane have been without power since Thursday.

The landfall will pose further threat to the African country, with authorities saying it could bring a "life-threatening" storm surge of up to 13 feet along Mozambique's coastline, and close to 20 feet at the mouth of the Pungwe river, which runs to Zimbabwe.

A satellite image of cyclone Idai as it hits Mozambique.

The information ministry said the army had moved in to rescue 197 pupils trapped at a local school.

"She is fine. My house is fine but there's no more running water".

Roads and bridges have become impassable, slowing rescue efforts.

A significant part of the central region was "absolutely decimated by this cyclone, even larger than anticipated", said Jamie LeSueur, the International Federation of Red Cross's roving emergency operations manager for Africa after an aerial survey of the affected areas in Mozambique.

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