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Harare Bureau 18/03/19

The death toll from Tropical Cyclone Idai induced-floods has risen to 70 with 65 deaths having been confirmed in Manicaland, four in Masvingo and one in Mashonaland East. Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo confirmed the death of the 65 people in Manicaland. Minister Moyo said the 65 died due to drowning and injuries sustained during mud slides. Minister Moyo added that Government will provide $1 000 for each of the bereaved families. Mr Mangwana  said infrastructure that was giving in like roads were showing how difficult the rescue mission was. Meanwhile, Mr Hadzirabwi said the four people who died in Masvingo were from Bikita where two girls aged 6 and 12 died in the Mukore area on Friday night after a house they were sleeping in gave way to heavy rains and collapsed on them. The other two, a female and a male adult, also died in the Hozvi area in Mukanganwi communal lands on Friday night after they were trapped in the rubble of their houses which caved in owing to heavy rains accompanied by winds. Over 150 houses have been destroyed in Masvingo. In Zaka some areas such as Chipinda, Muroyi and Chimedza were rendered inaccessible by roads after heavy rains forced Chiredzi River to burst its banks. In Mashonaland East the victim was an 83-year-old man who was swept away by floods and his body was recovered the following morning. Mr Masawi said at least 20 houses in ward 17 Masasa in Chikomba collapsed due to the excessive rains.