India will send its fourth ship to assist relief operations in cyclone-hit Mozambique where the toll has gone up from 242 to 417. INS MAGAR loaded with relief materials is expected to leave for Mozambique in two-three days, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday.
Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi have been severely affected by Cyclone Idai. At least 732 people – 259 in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi – have died in the three countries while thousands have been left homeless.
INS MAGAR will take medicines, dry provisions, ready-to-eat meals, daily essentials and clothing items. “This would cater for approximately 1,000 persons for seven days,” said the Ministry of External Affairs. “In addition, 500 kg of epidemic-related medicines and 400 tonnes of rice has also been loaded on the ship.”
The Indian Navy has already sent three ships – INS Sujata, ICGS Sarathi and INS Shardul – and rescued more than 192 people. It has also provided assistance to 1,381 people in medical camps, said the Ministry of External Affairs.
Around 1.7 million people have been affected across southern Africa. “The situation is getting better, still critical, but it’s getting better,” said Mozambique’s Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia, according to Reuters.
The toll is expected to rise further, reported BBC. The United Nations’ humanitarian office has warned of more flooding. “We’re going to have to wait until the flood waters recede until we know the full expanse of the toll on the people of Mozambique,” said UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs coordinator Sebastian Rhodes Stampa.
There have been reports of cholera from Beira. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have warned of the risk of other outbreaks.