Cyclones in Africa and Australia illustrate devastating impact of climate change

By CARE Australia March 22, 2019 0 comments

With 1.5 million people in southern Africa affected by Cyclone Idai, and Australians bracing for Cyclones Trevor and Veronica, aid agency CARE Australia says people the world over are suffering because of increasingly severe weather events.

Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi a week ago and CARE is providing aid to people who have lost everything and are still at risk due to severe flooding.

CARE Australia’s emergency response manager, Stefan Knollmayer, said the cyclones illustrated the human cost of climate change.

“What CARE is seeing on the ground in southern Africa, and what Australians in the Top End are currently experiencing, is the devastating impact of tropical storms that are predicted to get worse with climate change.”

“Officials in Mozambique estimate more than 1,000 people may have died in that country alone, and many more are injured and homeless.”

“Around the world, it is the poorest communities that are the most vulnerable to climate change, as they have fewer resources to prepare for and bounce back after a disaster.”

CARE’s country director in Mozambique, Marc Nosbach, said survivor accounts had been heartbreaking.

“We have heard accounts of people loosing family members in front of their eyes as the flood waters were approaching.”

“The power of the cyclone is visible everywhere, with shipping containers moved like little Lego blocks.”

To donate to CARE Australia’s Cyclone Idai Appeal visit care.org.au/cyclone or call 1800 020 046.

Images, video and quotes from survivors are available here (credit: CARE / Josh Estey).

For interviews with spokespeople in Australia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe or Malawi, contact Iona Salter on 0412 449 691 or email iona.salter@care.org.au

About CARE in southern Africa

CARE has been working in Mozambique since the 1980s and in Zimbabwe and Malawi since the 1990s. CARE has played a vital role in emergency responses in the region, including after Cyclone Dineo which hit Mozambique in February 2017. CARE places a special emphasis on women and girls, who are normally the worst affected by disasters and who often prioritise their families’ needs ahead of their own.

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