Prayers for Victims of Cyclone Idai in Southeast Africa— 070

Earlier this month, Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi with devastating effects. Join me in praying for those affected. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk, and I am a Catholic who writes Humanitarian Prayers to encourage people to pray for those suffering most in our world.

Prayers

I pray for your mercy for those affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. I pray for your mercy especially for those who have died and for those who mourn.

I pray that life-sustaining food, water, and medical care will swiftly reach all of those who have been isolated by the storm. I pray that all who have been displaced and all who have lost their homes will be provided access to shelter.

I pray that water-borne illnesses will not spread due to the flooding of the affected areas.

I pray that communities devastated by the storm will recover through the assistance and charity of others. I pray that homes, schools, churches, roads, and other structures will be swiftly rebuilt.

I pray that the long-term needs of those affected will not be neglected. I pray that those whose land will be unable to produce food or clean water for long periods into the future will be able to receive those necessities through external support.

Notes and Explanations

For over two weeks in March, Cyclone Idai hovered around Mozambique, as well as portions of neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi. Cyclones are the same thing as hurricanes, but with a different name in a different part of the world. Cyclone Idai is one of the worst Cyclone to every strike Africa.

The storm caused wind speeds in excess of 100 mph and produced extreme flooding. Some areas saw 13-foot storm surges and 19 feet of flooding. Last week, areas up to 15 miles inland were underwater. This natural disaster had a tremendous human cost. Over 2 million people have been affected.

As of March 24th, there are over 750 confirmed deaths between the three countries. That number is expected to exceed 1000 as flooding recedes and bodies previously underwater, which have been decomposing, are discovered. Over 600,000 people have been displaced.

Now that the storm has passed, numerous short and long-term effects cause significant concern. Water-borne illnesses such as cholera and water-related malaria have strong potential to spread in wet environments. As of April 3rd, there have been over 1000 cholera cases and two deaths.

Over 100,000 people have lost their homes and all of their posessions. Many roads have been severely damaged or destroyed, leaving some communities being only reachable by boat or even plane.

The isolating effects of the flooding have caused the spread of aid like food, clean water, and medicine to affected areas to be extremely slow, the lack of which is causing significant unrest. Affected areas will be unable to produce food or provide clean water for long periods.

To see more of the aftermath, view this dramatic photo gallery from The Atlantic.

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Check out other recent posts to pray for Afghanistan and Migrants Crossing the Mediterranean.

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