Columbus Mavhunga/VOA

Christian charity urges Christians to pray in aftermath of cyclone

The Christian charity, Tearfund is asking Christians to pray as the clear-up begins after Cyclone Idai.

More than 350 people are dead after mass destruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

At least 4-hundred thousand people have been left homeless.

Large parts of Mozambique were hardest hit and heavy rains caused landslides and flash floods in Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Tearfund's country director for Malawi, Vincent Moyo told Premier:

"Pray that no more rains, which are destructive, will come. But also pray that people come in to respond and embrace the people who have been grieved, those who have lost their loved ones."

Cyclone Idai made landfall in the port city of Beira on Thursday 14th March with wind speeds of up to 106 mph and has wreaked havoc across the region destroying homes and devastating crops, infrastructure and livelihoods.

The full extent of the damage is still unknown. Predictions suggest that the death toll may reach as many as 1,000 in Mozambique alone, with thousands more displaced and left homeless.

Vincent Moyo told Premier: "The situation is very devastating, so depressing - you see women and children who have lost their homes, their property, their crops and they have no food and they are destitute.

"The immediate needs - you're talking of food because they have lost all their food, but also safe drinking water just because of the floods, due to the cyclone. the wells have been contaminated."

Earnest Maswera, Tearfund’s Country Director in Zimbabwe, said: ‘This is the worst possible time for this to happen as people would have been harvesting in the next couple of weeks. The loss of crops aggravates existing challenges we have been facing because even before the floods 5.3 million people had been experiencing food shortages and this will increase significantly."

Tearfund also plans to distribute seeds to help prevent food shortages in the medium term as the cyclone and floods destroyed mature crops that were ready for harvesting.

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