Southern African countries have been hit by a deadly storm this week that shows the reality of climate change, according to a UN official.
The death toll has risen to 86 in the wake of Storm Ana.
As roads and bridges have washed away in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Malawi, rescue workers are trying to reach tens of thousands cut off by the disaster.
As of now, authorities are watching to see whether the second storm – Batsirai will affect the continent next week.
Unicef’s Maria Luisa Fornara described Storm Ana, which has left 18 people dead and 120,000 affected in Mozambique, as a “blunt reminder” of how climate change is affecting people.
To “protect and save lives,” UN Secretary General António Guterres stressed the need for more investment.
Abdul Ibrahim, a fisherman living in Mozambique’s Nampula province, told AFP news agency that the strong wind swept away his fishing boat.
Having never experienced anything like this before, I will have difficulty recovering.”
Maria Jose told AFP that the first winds had caused her home to be blown away, and she and her children were looking for temporary shelter.
There is nothing left for me, I lost everything.”
After Cyclone Idai in 2019, some of the infrastructure that had been rebuilt was destroyed again.
Among the countries that were hit on Monday is Madagascar, where 48 people have been killed, and 72,000 have lost their homes.
One woman observed the damage and expressed her sadness, “We work like crazy to make money, but now our house is destroyed.” She was saddened by the destruction.
In response to a storm which left 20 people dead in Malawi, the country’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, declared a state of emergency.
Disaster management agency officials said families were forced to carry the dead to burial sites since roads were cut off.
One resident in Chikwawa, a town in the south, said that fellow villagers had to hold on to trees for two days as the waters swept through.
Tropical Storm Batsirai is being closely monitored by the weather authorities, which has formed in the Indian Ocean and is moving westward.