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Presidents of Mozambique, Zimbabwe return home after cyclone

AP  |  Harare 

The presidents of and have return home to deal with the effects of a powerful cyclone that has killed more than 150 people across southern

Hundreds more were missing Sunday while tens of thousands were cut off from roads and telephones in mainly poor, rural areas.

Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in Malawi, and Zimbabwe, according to the UN and government officials.

Mozambique's and Zimbabwean had both left for foreign trips just as the cyclone hit their respective

This drew criticism from some who thought they should have stayed at home to deal with a disaster whose overwhelming magnitude has not been experienced in years.

The International Federation of And Red Crescent Societies on Saturday said at least 126 people had died in and

In Zimbabwe, 31 people have died from the floods, said the country's information ministry.

State radio in Mozambique reported that the planned to visit affected areas after returning Sunday from Eswatini, formerly known as

Mozambique's central port city of was hardest hit, with the airport closed and many homes destroyed.

The storm hit late Thursday and moved westward into and Malawi, affecting thousands more, particularly in eastern areas bordering Mozambique.

Zimbabwe's president was returning home from the "to make sure he is involved directly with the national response by way of relief to victims of Cyclone Idai," the information ministry said Sunday.

UN agencies and the are helping with rescue efforts that include delivering and medicines by helicopter in the impoverished

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 18:55 IST