BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI IN CHIMANIMANI
OVER 20 people who had been isolated in areas around Skyline in Chimanimani following the carnage caused by Cyclone Idai were yesterday rescued through joint efforts by the Zimbabwe National Army and other partners.
Commander of 3 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General Joel Muzvidziwa, who was in charge of the rescue operation, confirmed the development.
“We have recovered a number of people, particularly from Gonga village, which is the worst hit. We are, however, going into other areas to look for more people,” he said.
Muzvidziwa said there had also been mudslides in the Rusitu area, but they were hoping to make more recoveries because the water levels were now manageable.
A government medical officer in charge of the team of doctors attending to the rescued people, Themba Nyoni, said they had attended to several patients affected by the cyclone.
He said the most common ailments were head injuries, fractures, broken limbs and pelvises as well as fractured hips.
“There are also a number of patients who may need special care in a hospital,” Nyoni said.
He said while the physical injuries would heal soon, psychological trauma was likely to take longer.
“There is a lot of trauma. It’s one of the major things. Many of them will need psychiatric help, especially those that have lost whole families or children,” he said. “So after treating the injuries, the mental health aspects will need to be attended to.”
Several helicopters were dispatched for the rescue operations while a number of non-governmental organisations were also on the ground assisting the victims.
A temporary relief centre was also set up at Skyline.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected there today.
Cyclone Idai, which also hit Mozambique and Malawi, has left close too 100 people dead and many more missing in Manicaland.