NAMPA — The Nampa-based Christian organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (operating as Ambassador Aviation in Mozambique) is responding to a humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Idai -- which struck Mozambique on March 14.
MAF has been conducting assessment flights and working with Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management and other non-government organizations in coordinating rescue and relief efforts.
Flight surveys reveal significant damage to a major highway between Beira and Chimoio, with entire sections washed out by flood water. Other roadways are underwater, with bridges either damaged or gone.
“Additional flight surveys going south into the Buzi River basin show the area has deep and widespread flooding with entire buildings under water and people stranded on rooftops surrounded by water,” said MAF spokesman Brad Hoaglun.
MAF pilot and disaster response team member Rick Emenaker reported on what he saw on the survey flight. “It was a heartbreaking flight as we flew over many miles of flooded land in the Buzi River basin. We saw many people stranded on rooftops, surrounded by kilometers of water. It was difficult to comprehend and think about that probably many have perished. A number of villages were completely buried in the flood waters. The magnitude of this disaster is hard to comprehend, and we are glad we can be here to help. Please keep the people of Mozambique in prayer, as they struggle with this difficult situation that has no short-term end in sight,” he said.
“MAF’s Cessna Grand Caravan C208 will continue to be used for survey flights throughout the week. The fixed-wing aircraft may also be utilized as an air bridge to bring in bulk supplies and fuel for distribution, as well as relief worker rotations,” Hoaglun said.
(photo courtesy: MAF)