The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

When Nature Rages Angels Bring Help

Coen van Wyk

Posted on March 27, 2019 04:51

0 user

Cyclone Idai struck people who were least able to survive. Government services collapsed. Heroes worked without rest, saving whom they could. Then came the angels, providing help, bringing support, helping the recovery. It is not too late to join them.

Cyclone Idai hit the low-lying Mozambique coast near Beira. Despite warnings few were prepared. The cyclone, packing winds close to 200 km/hr (125 mph), ripped through the old city of Beira, the shanty towns around it, and the villages and huts on the coastal plain. Moving inland into Zimbabwe and Malawi, it released millions of tons of water in the drought-stricken hinterland. The damage and loss of life caused by this, the tenth of this season, is probably going to make it the most deadly since the 1892 Mauritius cyclone. Its destruction can be attributed to weak infrastructure, (where do you evacuate a million inhabitants on Beira and coastal villages to?) and distrust between people and their governments (nobody in the rebel-dominated Gorongosa province of Mozambique, or the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe would allow police to truck them away to unknown destinations).

Infrastructure destroyed. Timeslive.com

While scientists debate the impact of man on the severity of the storm, it is clear that massive deforestation in the disaster-struck areas contributed to the scope of the destruction. The results were dramatic. Entire villages vanished under landslides. People reported seeing hundreds of corpses washed up.  The brand-new National road washed away. Aged women carried their husbands, infirm with age, tens of kilometres through the flooded plains. People huddled in trees for days, fearing the crocodiles that inhabit these rivers. The plains behind Beira’s coastal dunes became a vast inland lake.

Before and after


Rescuers sprang to action. The South African NGO Gift of the Givers sent in medical teams as soon as airports were open. The South African Air Force deployed five helicopters. Gift of the Givers teamed up with them to engage in daring rescue activities, ad hoc medical services, and heroism of every description was reported. The Indian Navy was likewise involved.

MAF-UK

A young expatriate, possibly a Peace Corps volunteer, found long ropes, plastic drums and a dugout canoe, and rescued hundreds. Fisherman spent days bringing survivors to safety. Doctors worked for days without rest. Trucks and private 4x4’s from Zimbabwe and South Africa rushed to bring help. Citizens worldwide, poor people locally, private companies, all pitched in to aid in the efforts.

Lutheran Media Forum

The United Nations family is gearing up for the long term: Cholera has been reported, nearly a million children are orphaned or homeless. UN Humanitarian aid made an appeal for $282 million to provide relief over the next three months. 

In the long term there will be new problems, including crops almost ready for harvest that have been destroyed. Farmers have been killed. The vast environmental damage must be repaired.
 
You too can be an angel. These people need your help.

Coen van Wyk

Posted on March 27, 2019 04:51

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

The president of Mozambique has declared Cyclone Idai "a humanitarian disaster of great proportion".

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest