By Norma Tsopo
Chimanimani Hotel has taken in over 400 people after Cyclone Idai triggered a landslide that swept their homes in Ngangu high density suburb’s Old Location.
More than 21 people have since been confirmed dead with over 40 missing after the mudslide.
With Chimanimani cut-off from all outside assistance after bridges connecting it with Chipinge and Mutare were swept away in torrential floods as it recorded 600 mm of rainfall in 24 hours it was largely left to the small closely-knit resort town to take care of itself.
Outside assistance is expected through air but only after the skies clear and the powerful winds subside.
Hotel proprietors through Ms Mandla Mataure are coordinating the effort but are appealing for support in food, LP gas, blankets among other things as they suspend profit for humanitarian needs.
Chimanimani Tourist Association (CTA) secretary Jane High whose small but vibrant hospitality industry group is also supporting the humanitarian relief also confirmed that the hotel was open to those in need.
“All roads in and out are impassable. Hotel now full with in excess of 400 people sleeping on floors after their homes were washed away,” High said.
28 deaths have been confirmed overall with over 70 people missing as the deadly cyclone moves into Zimbabwe from central Mozambique where it made landfall on Thursday.
The cyclone is leaving a trail of destruction as it moves further inland with its strength weakening.