Beira, Mozambique - With the flooding easing in parts of cyclone-stricken Mozambique on Friday, fears are rising that the waters could yield up many more bodies. The confirmed number of people killed in Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi climbed past 600.
Eight days after Cyclone Idai struck southeast Africa's Indian Ocean coast, touching off some of the worst flooding in decades, the homeless, hungry and injured slowly made their way from devastated inland areas to the port city of Beira, which was heavily damaged itself but has emerged as the nerve center for rescue efforts.
"Some were wounded. Some were bleeding," said Julia Castigo, a Beira resident who watched them arrive. "Some had feet white like flour for being in the water for so long."
Aid workers are seeing many children who have been separated from their parents in the chaos or orphaned.
Elhadj As Sy, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the relief efforts so far "are nowhere near the scale and magnitude of the problem," and the humanitarian needs are likely to grow in the coming weeks and months.