Cyclone Idai hit the port city of Beira, Mozambique, with 160 km/h winds on March 14, destroying buildings and dumping torrential rains that flooded an area nearly 2,000 square kms wide. About 200,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. The storm also devastated farmers in the midst of harvest season, harming up to 1 million acres of crops and threatening food supplies. The local Ministry of Health has declared a cholera outbreak as thousands of cases are developing. More than 800 lost their lives in the storm and 500,000 were displaced.
Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft has already made three trips from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Mozambique carrying a total of over 67 tons of supplies for cyclone relief. This included shelter materials, a water treatment system, an Emergency Field Hospital, and solar lights.
In cooperation with Mozambique’s Ministry of Health, Samaritan’s Purse has set up its Emergency Field Hospital in Buzi. An international team of 61 disaster response specialists, including five Canadians, is there serving the cyclone victims. Part of this group—our water, sanitation, and hygiene teams—are pumping contaminated water out of wells to fight the spread of cholera, which has afflicted over 5,800 citizens so far. Over 900,000 people have been vaccinated through the Oral Cholera Vaccination Campaign. Our Africa-based DC-3 aircraft also participated in the response and made 17 trips, moving nearly 40 tons of supplies to difficult-to-access areas.
The hospital is fully operational – in addition to seeing approximately 100 outpatients per day, a small number of inpatients are occupying beds in the hospital overnight and babies continue to be delivered, including by emergency C-section, as needed. Our medical work is based in Buzi, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm’s devastating winds and flooding.
Samaritan’s Purse is responding by distributing food to these vulnerable families. In partnership with the World Food Programme, we will be distributing 12,000 kgs (12 metric tons) of food supplies that will include a 3-day ration of rice, beans, peas, lentils, and oil.
“We trust God.
We will start again.”—Lydia
Lydia, her husband, and their two children aged 7 and 23 months lost their roof to Cyclone Idai. They were among the first families to receive heavy-duty shelter plastic from Samaritan’s Purse.
“We trust God. We will start again,” Lydia said. “All things are broken, but we will start fixing them.”
Maria also received a tarp from our international disaster relief team after losing her roof to the storm. “I am so thankful for Samaritan’s Purse coming here to help,” she said. “We pray the Lord will help you with all that you are doing from Mozambique and Beira.”
Working together with local churches, Samaritan’s Purse has distributed more than 11,500 tarps, 3,300 blankets, and 2,300 solar lights. We have also treated over 1,800 medical patients and delivered more than 15 babies. In addition, our teams have handed out over 1,300 water filtration systems and rehabilitated more than 180 water supply points.
Please pray for the people of Mozambique as they recover from this tragedy and for Samaritan’s Purse teams as we serve them in Jesus’ Name.
Your support enables Samaritan's Purse to respond with physical aid and a message of spiritual hope for those devastated by Cyclone Idai and flash flooding in southeastern Africa. Your gift will allow us to share Jesus' love by providing necessities such as shelter, clean water, medical supplies, food, personnel, and other aid.