The death toll from the devastation caused last week by cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe has risen from 102 to 139, the country's government said on Tuesday, fearing that this number will increase when authorities can access the entire affected territory. .
Most deaths (127) were recorded in the Chimanimani district (east), near the border with Mozambique, the country most affected by the cyclone, said the Zimbabwe Ministry of Information.
However, Zimbabwean authorities fear that the death toll will rise because rescue teams have yet to access areas cut by floods since Ida hit the area last Friday.
The official number of missing persons stands at 189, although everything indicates that this figure will also increase based on the testimonies of survivors from the affected areas.
"We come here every day, trying to search through the rubble, hoping to find our relatives who are still missing, it's devastating," official Dudzai Ndiyadzo, of the town of Chipinge (southeast), told local newspaper NewsDay. many houses are destroyed and only 10 bodies have been found.
Among the missing in Chipinge are agents from a police station leveled by the floods, the newspaper added.
The catastrophe has caused the displacement of more than 4,300 people in seven districts of the country, said the Ministry of Information.
Before reaching Zimbabwe, the cyclone made landfall last Thursday in Mozambique near the port city of Beira, one of the most important in the country (with more than 500,000 inhabitants), which was almost completely destroyed, as the areas neighboring rural areas were flooded.
Those killed by the cyclone in Mozambique amount to 202 people, according to the latest official figures issued by the Government, but all indications are that they will increase in the coming days.