SA Air Force helicopters help rescue 167 people in flood-ravaged Mozambique

IPSS Medical Rescue members carry children to safety from a SAAF helicopter in Beira, Mozambique.
IPSS Medical Rescue members carry children to safety from a SAAF helicopter in Beira, Mozambique.
Image: Facebook/IPSS Medical Rescue

At least 167 people were saved and reunited with their families on Tuesday following a successful rescue operation by members of the SA Air Force (SAAF) and IPSS Medical Rescue in flood-ravaged Beira in Mozambique. 

This follows a trail of destruction left by Cyclone Idai last week, which displaced thousands of people after their homes were completely demolished or flooded. 

The county's fourth-largest city, Beira is believed to be one of the worst affected, with Idai having completely cut off electricity supply and cellphone networks, and left water supply intermittent. 

IPSS Medical Rescue's Paul Herbst has been posting updates of their rescue operations. 

"As more international rescue teams and resources continue to arrive in the region, rescue efforts are expanding and the impact being made is significant. This will also allow for some of the ‘first-boots’ on the ground to start to withdraw from the area, seeking much recuperation back home.

"Many of the team members are both physically and mentally exhausted and operational decisions on whether to fly members out and back to their families, will be made during the course of the day.

"Thank you for the ongoing support. We are still shocked by the extent of the devastation. Mozambique needs all of the help it can get," he wrote on the IPSS Medical Rescue Facebook page. 

The Mozambican government has yet to release an official death toll, but given the extent of damage and flooding, reports have estimated the number of deaths to be well over 1,000.

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