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Elham AbolFateh

World

In Mozambique، parents yearn for children torn away by cyclone

Friday 29/March/2019 - 05:57 PM
Sada El Balad
Reuters - It has been more than a week since Virginia Samuel last saw two of her children.

Her family was marooned for four days in the stands of a basketball stadium after Cyclone Idai brought floods along the Buzi River in central Mozambique، where she lived.

A helicopter hoisted Samuel to safety with her two youngest boys، aged 5 and 6. But there was no room for her 12-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter.

She is haunted by the memory of them screaming for her as the helicopter flew away، leaving them behind with their grandmother.

“I have to pray to God، so I can see my mother and my children again،” she said، wiping tears with her patterned skirt at a camp for displaced people in the nearby port city of Beira.

Hers is a common plight in this part of Mozambique، where families were ripped apart in the chaos of the cyclone and floods across an area roughly the size of Luxembourg.

As many as 4،900 children may have been separated from their families، according to preliminary figures compiled by a group of United Nations and other humanitarian agencies.

Other survivors lost touch with husbands، wives and siblings. No one knows how many people remain unaccounted for two weeks after the storm hit on March 14.

From Mozambique، the cyclone ripped through neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi، flattening homes and causing deadly mudslides. At least 738 people were killed in the storm and heavy rains before it hit.

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