NPR: Plight Of Survivors After Cyclone Idai: No Power, No Homes, No Roads
When Cyclone Idai, a devastating tropical storm, swept across southeastern Africa on Thursday, it killed at least 150 people, displaced hundreds of thousands and left Beira, a coastal city of a half-million people in central Mozambique, almost totally destroyed.
In the aftermath, with some of their neighbors still trapped on rooftops or in trees, some local residents began the long process of recovery with a small but notable rebuttal to nature, by beginning to move the beach back to its rightful place.
The storm, which made landfall on Thursday, pushed tons of sand from the city's beach onto downtown streets, complicating emergency response efforts that were already hampered by a total lack of electricity, telecommunications networks or running water, says Jamie LeSueur, emergency operations manager for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, who is helping to lead emergency response efforts in Beira and was one of the first aid workers to reach the scene.
"We saw massive destruction," LeSueur says. "But within two days, people were in the streets with shovels. Seeing the response has been just awe-inspiring."