Muscat: Three Indian naval ships will provide disaster relief to people in Mozambique after a deadly cyclone struck the African nation, India's Ministry of External Affairs confirmed.
In a statement released online, the Ministry said, "(The) Government of India has decided to divert three Indian Naval Ships (INS Sujatha, INS Shardul & INS Sarathi) to the port city of Beira to provide immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to affected people.
"Indian Naval Ships will provide relief material in the form of food, clothes and medicine to the affected people. In addition, the ships have three medical practitioners and three nurses to provide immediate medical help."
The decision was made in response to a request from Mozambique, the Ministry confirmed, after it was hit by the Category 4 Tropical Cyclone 'Idai'.
According to the International Red Cross, "90 per cent” of Beira and the surrounding area has been damaged or destroyed.
Jamie LeSueur, who is leading the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies (IFRC) assement team in Beira, said, "The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed.”
According to the IFRC, their team was forced to drive from the capital Maputo before taking a helicopter for the last part of the journey. Roads into Beira have been cut off by flooding and the airport remains closed.
“Almost everything is destroyed. Communication lines have been completely cut and roads have been destroyed. Some affected communities are not accessible,” said LeSueur.
“Beira has been severely battered. But we are also hearing that the situation outside the city could be even worse. Yesterday, a large dam burst and cut off the last road to the city.”
Zimbabwe is the latest country in Southern Africa to be hit by heavy rains and violent winds, after Malawi and Mozambique. According to the IFRC, the death toll in the three countries is estimated at around 150 people, a number that is expected to rise as the scale of the destruction becomes clear.