A man looks at a washed away bridge along Umvumvu river following Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe
A man looks at a washed away bridge along Umvumvu river following Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe

Did not anticipate Cyclone Idai's intensity: Zimbabwe Defence Minister

ANI | Updated: Mar 19, 2019 13:28 IST

Chimanimani [Zimbabwe],  Mar 19 (ANI) :  Zimbabwe's Minister of Defence, Oppah Muchinguri, on Tuesday said that her government failed to anticipate the magnitude of Cyclone Idai
"I had not anticipated Cyclone Idai to be so bad. We had heard that floods were coming and a cyclone, but we had not moved or done anything to help ourselves," Aljazeera quoted Muchinguri as saying. 
"I think we as people of Manicaland province have learnt a lesson and next time we will protect lives and urge people to move to know what will happen, and we move into camps together with the government's help," she added. 
Meanwhile, worsening the situation, bad weather and heavy destruction are hampering the relief and rescue efforts of military and humanitarian agencies in eastern Zimbabwe, which was hit by Cyclone Idai last week.
Bulldozers and debris cleaners are struggling hard to clear up muddied roads in parts of the Chipinge and Chimanimani districts. A massive landslide had blocked the only road to Chimanimani.
Helicopters have been deployed to carry out the rescue operation in a school, which got buried under a mudslide.
In Zimbabwe and Malawi, authorities said that 239 people (89 in Zimbabwe and 150 in Malawi) have been killed due to the cyclone.
A total of around 1.5 million people have been affected by torrential rains and winds that reached the speed of up to 200 kilometres.
In the wake of Cyclone Idai, which ravaged Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, India on Monday diverted three naval ships to Beira to provide immediate humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
"In response to request from Mozambique hit by tropical cyclone causing loss of lives and damage, India has diverted 3 Indian Naval Ships to port city of Beira to provide immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief of food, clothes and medical help to affected people," tweeted India's Secretary Economic Relations (ER) TS Tirumurti. (ANI)