The passage of Cyclone Idai through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi is one of the worst weather disasters in African history, according to UN Secretary General António Guterres on Tuesday.
The Portuguese diplomat, in statements to journalists, stressed that the catastrophe has affected around three million people, with at least one million in need of "urgent help", a number that is expected to continue to rise.
"We fear that entire towns have been washed away by the waters in places that we have not yet been able to reach," Guterres warned.
The head of the United Nations asked the international community for support for the three African countries,
The UN presented on Monday a request to donors for Mozambique, requiring 282 million to finance the response during the next three months.
In the case of Zimbabwe and Malawi, the organization plans to publicize the financial needs in the coming days.
After participating in the search and rescue tasks, the United Nations is now focusing on the provision of emergency aid such as food, medicine, water purification systems and materials for the construction of shelters.
In addition, the organization and its partners work against the clock to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and malaria.
Guterres stressed that this cyclone was unusually hard and prolonged and is a new warning sign about the dangers of climate change.
In total, almost 700 deaths have been recorded so far, although there are still many missing.
In Mozambique, the most affected country, more than 3,100 schools, attended by 90,000 students, have been destroyed, more than 33,500 homes are completely or partially destroyed, and 500,000 hectares of crops that were about to be harvested have been lost, according to government figures.