The situation in Beira, a low-lying port city on the Indian

  Ocean, was described by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cre

scent Societies (IFRC) as “terrible” following an aerial assessment conducted by the agency Monday.

  IFRC spokesman Jamie LeSueur said that up to 90% of the ar

ea had been destroyed. “The scale of devastation is enormous,” said LeSueur.

  On Sunday, a dam burst cutting off the last road to the city, which aid workers are now struggling to reach.

  A former Portuguese colony, Mozambiq

ue gained independence in 1975 and suffered a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992. Today, despite recent eco

nomic growth, about half the population remains below the poverty line.

  Cylone Idai has caused destruction on such a large scale because of that poverty and lack of infrastructure.

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