United Church of Christ

Cyclone Idai


 Updated April 15, 2019


Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall during the night of March 14-15 2019, near Beira City, Sofala Province, in central Mozambique. The cyclone brought torrential rains and winds to Sofala, Zambezia, Manica and Inhambane provinces. The city of Beira, in Sofala Province of central Mozambique, lost communication. The full impact of the cyclone is yet to be established. However, initial reports indicate loss of life and significant damage to infrastructure in Beira and surrounding areas.

Cyclone Idai continued across land as a Tropical Storm and hit eastern Zimbabwe with heavy rains and strong winds. The storm caused high winds and heavy precipitation in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts causing riverine and flash flooding and subsequent deaths, destruction of livelihoods and properties.

Since March 14, Tropical Cyclone Idai and resulting flooding have claimed more than 1,000 lives in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Some 361,000 people remain displaced to temporary camps. An aggressive vaccination campaign is underway to stop the spread of cholera (cases as of April 9: 4,072 with seven deaths). 


As of April 7, the official death toll stands at 602 people, with more than 1,600 people injured, according to the Government. The death toll is expected to continue to rise as areas previously cut off become reachable by road and the full extent of the damage becomes known. At least 131,600 people are still sheltering in 136 displacement sites.

As of April 9, 4,072 cholera cases have been reported, including 7 deaths. The Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign began on April 3 in Beira, where the majority of cases were registered since the beginning of the outbreak on March 27. By the end of the vaccination campaign on April 9, 802,347 people had received the vaccine - 96 per cent of the total target. As of 8 April, 7,124 cases of malaria have also been reported since 27 March.

More than 305,000 school-age students have been impacted by the crisis, as more than 3,340 classrooms have been destroyed, and many continue to be used as shelters for the more than 142,000 IDPs in Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia provinces. Humanitarian partners continue to call for any relocations out of schools or elsewhere to be safe, dignified and voluntary. 



In Malawi, Cyclone Idai impacted more than 868,900 people, according to the Government, with 59 deaths and 672 injuries recorded. More than 87,000 people are estimated to be displaced, 


As of April 10, 299 deaths have been reported, more than 186 people have been injured and 327 are missing, according to the government. In Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, at least half of the total population has been impacted, according to the preliminary findings of an inter-sector assessment mission which confirmed significant damage. At least 16,000 households need shelter assistance in Chimanimani, Mutare, Chipinge and Buhera, according to the government.



The UCC has begun its early response and planning for recovery with partners. Thus far:

- $9,000 has been provided for Cyclone Idai early relief work, including water, food, temporary shelter, psychosocial needs, basic household goods, and medicine/medical needs. 

- $50,000 has been granted through ACT Alliance to partners in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who have extensive knowledge and experience in responding to emergency situations, and responses in the sectors such WASH, Protection and Psychosocial support, health and nutrition, CASH, livelihood and early recovery.

- $3,000 has been granted the United Church of Christ of Mozambique for emergency relief, including three months' community food aid, school supplies for children and reconstruction materials.

Worship Resources

Prayers for this disaster are encouraged. Share yours at disasters@ucc.org

Ways to Help

  • Pray for all impacted by disasters including those directly impacted, their families and friends. Pray for all those involved as first responders such as fire, police, and other emergency management professionals and volunteers.
  • DO NOT collect “stuff” and/or attempt to ship material items to the impacted region(s). Click here to learn why cash is best.
  • DO assemble Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Personal Hygiene Kits or School Kits. Click here to learn more.   
  • Make a donation to the "International Emergency Fund" or by mail (see address at the top of the page).


Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. If you have any questions, contact us.