Factbox: Cyclone Idai kills 656, displaces hundreds of thousands

People walk past fallen palm trees as flood waters begin to recede in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, in Buzi near Beira, Mozambique March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

BEIRA, Mozambique – Hundreds of thousands of people are in need of food, water and shelter after Cyclone Idai battered Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, killing at least 656 people.

Here is a look at the storm’s impact, according to U.N. agencies and affected governments.


Cyclone Idai made landfall the night of March 14 near the port city of Beira, bringing heavy winds and rains. Two major rivers, the Buzi and the Pungue, burst their banks, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the water.

Number killed: 446

Number injured: 1,500

Houses damaged or destroyed: 33,600

Crops damaged: 500,000 hectares

Number affected: 531,000


On March 16, the storm hit eastern Zimbabwe, where it flattened homes and flooded communities in the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

Number killed: at least 154, according to government. U.N. migration agency puts toll at 259.

Number injured: 200

Number displaced: 16,000 households

Number affected: 250,000


Before making landfall, the storm brought heavy rains and flooding to the lower Shire River districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje, in Malawi’s south. The rains continued after the storm hit, compounding the misery of tens of thousands of people.

Number killed: 56

Number injured: 577

Number displaced: 94,000

Number affected: 840,000

(Reuters – Reporting by Emma Rumney in Beira, Tom Miles in Geneva, MacDonald Dzirutwe in Harare and Frank Phiri in Blantyre; Writing by Alexandra Zavis; Editing by Louise Heavens and Andrew Cawthorne)