The only woman in the world to become the First Lady of two countries comes to the rescue of more than 2 million Cyclone Idai victims

The only woman in the world to become the First Lady of two countries comes to the rescue of more than 2 million Cyclone Idai victims
  • Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi are still recovering from powerful cyclones up to 200 kilometres per hour and storm surge floods of up to 6 metres which battered the region last week.
  • On Tuesday, the UN said more than 1.7 million people had been affected by the cyclone, half of whom are feared to be children.
  • Former Mozambican first lady Graça Machel has now broken her silence and come to the aid of the victims.

The only woman in the world to become the First Lady of two countries and who happens to be an African has added her voice to one of the worst weather-related disasters recorded in the southern hemisphere.

Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi are still recovering from powerful cyclones up to 200 kilometres per hour and storm surge floods of up to 6 metres which battered the region last week, leaving a massive trail of destruction and deaths in its wake.

The storm killed more than 200 people with more bodies still being discovered in Mozambique alone while in neighbouring Zimbabwe, the official death count stands at 98 but is likely to grow as hundreds are still missing.

Roads, bridges, buildings and crops have also been destroyed in the areas it passed through.

In total, more than 2.6 million people across southeast Africa have been affected by Cyclone Idai, one of the worst weather-related disasters recorded in the southern hemisphere.

Former Mozambican first lady Graça Machel has now broken her silence and come to the aid of the victims.

The 73-year-old widow of Nelson Mandela has appealed to the United Nations to send a specialist team to assess the effects of the tropical cyclone that has ripped through south-west Africa since last week.

I asked the UN to send a specialised team to do the assessment. We need to know the magnitude, the depth, the extension, the complexity of this tragedy,” Machel said.

Graça Machel has also called on the three African countries to unite in seeking global aid following the tragedy.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi earlier this week said the number of those affected by the cyclone in his country could surpass 1,000.

The country has since declared three days of national mourning.

On Tuesday, the UN said more than 1.7 million people had been affected by the cyclone, half of whom are feared to be children.

The agency said the real extent of damage caused by the cyclone has not yet been known but it feared that the emergency was getting bigger by the day.

She is the widow of Mozambique’s first president, Samora Machel and was married to South Africa’s first president Nelson Mandela.

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