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STORY: GENEVA / CYCLONE IDAI UPDATE
TRT: 2:27
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 MARCH 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations, sunny.
2. Wide shot, Room III, podium.
3. Med shot, TV camera operator.
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“We are talking about a massive disaster right now where hundreds of thousands, in the millions, of people potentially affected. We need all the logistical support that we can possibly get. We need to have proper assessments first of what exactly is needed; as we have heard that it is by air that we can reach people, and it is by water as well.”
5. Med shot, journalists.
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, Senior Spokesperson, UN World Food Programme (WFP): “We estimate that 1.7 million people were in the path of the cyclone just in Mozambique.”
7. Wide shot, journalists, podium
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO): “The Mozambican President is quoted as saying they are fearing there are more than 1,000 casualties. If these reports, these fears are realized, then we can say that this is one of the worst weather-related disasters – tropical cyclone-related disasters – in the Southern hemisphere.”
9. Med shot, journalists
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Christophe Boulierac, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
“Many people are in desperate situations, several thousand are fighting for their lives at the moment sitting on rooftops, in trees and other elevated areas. This includes families and obviously many children.”
11. Close up, journalist
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Matthew Cochrane, spokesperson for the International federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“Colleagues talked of flooding perhaps in parts as deep as six metres, covering roofs, covering palm trees covering telephone poles.”
13. Med shot, journalists
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Herve Verhoosel, Senior Spokesperson, UN World Food Programme (WFP):
“It was very difficult to land a plane like this. Can you imagine in an airport, damaged by the water, dark with no light or radio communication with the control tower, nothing. I mean, those pilots are incredible.”
15. Med shot, members of the public.
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO): “So for the immediate needs, WHO is positioning health kits, emergency health kits, trauma kits and also cholera kits in order to be able to assist people on the ground, as soon as these kits gets there.”
17. Med shot, cameras, TV camera operator
18. Wide shot, podium
19. Close up, pens writing
20. Wide shot, journalists, podium

STORYLINE:

The full scale of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai in south-west Africa is becoming clearer, aid teams said today, warning that the emergency “is getting bigger by the hour.”

Five days after the storm made landfall in Mozambique, causing widespread flooding, at least 1,000 people are feared dead in Mozambique alone. Victims are reportedly trapped on roofs and clinging to trees awaiting rescue.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Jens Laerke from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, “we are talking about a massive disaster right now where hundreds of thousands, in the millions, of people potentially affected,” adding that “we need all the logistical support that we can possibly get. We need to have proper assessments first of what exactly is needed; as we have heard that it is by air that we can reach people, and it is by water as well.”

While floodwaters have reportedly begun to recede in Zimbabwe and Malawi, allowing some people to return home, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that Mozambique is facing “a major humanitarian emergency that is getting bigger by the hour.”

A WFP staff member who flew over the area inundated since the weekend when two swollen rivers burst their banks spoke of “inland oceans extending for miles and miles”, the UN agency said in a statement.

WFP Senior Spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said, “we estimate that 1.7 million people were in the path of the cyclone, just in Mozambique,” noting that aid access remains “the biggest challenge.”

Across the three nations, tens of thousands of people have lost their homes, while roads, bridges and crops have been washed away.

Heavy rain is continuing and more is forecast, according to Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

He said, “the Mozambican President is quoted as saying they are fearing there are more than 1,000 casualties,” she said. “If these reports, these fears are realized, then we can say that this is one of the worst weather-related disasters – tropical cyclone-related disasters – in the Southern hemisphere.”

UN Children’s Fund UNICEF confirmed the scale of the emergency, noting that 260,000 children have been affected in Mozambique, which bore the brunt of Idai.

UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said, “many people are in desperate situations, several thousand are fighting for their lives at the moment sitting on rooftops, in trees and other elevated areas,” adding that “this includes families and obviously many children.”

Matthew Cochrane, spokesperson for the International federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), underlined the perilous situation, noting that colleagues “talked of flooding perhaps in parts as deep as six metres, covering roofs, covering palm trees covering telephone poles.”

To date, WFP has coordinated airlifts of high-energy biscuits, water and blankets to people crammed on rooftops and elevated patches of land outside the port city of Beira, where 90 per cent of buildings are damaged, including the agency’s warehouse and port unloading machinery.

Verhoosel said, “it was very difficult to land a plane like this,” adding that “can you imagine in an airport, damaged by the water, dark with no light or radio communication with the control tower, nothing. I mean, those pilots are incredible.”

Four tonnes of biscuits are to be delivered by air later on Tuesday (19 Mar), in addition to the 1.2 tonnes dispatched on Monday – part of a 20-tonne consignment flown in from Dubai.

Negotiations are also “at an advanced stage” to bring in two freight aircraft to Beira, including a Hercules C-130, the agency said.

To respond to people’s health needs, Christian Lindmeier from the World Health Organization (WHO) explained that the initial priority is helping those with crush and trauma injuries.

He said, “so for the immediate needs, WHO is positioning health kits, emergency health kits, trauma kits and also cholera kits in order to be able to assist people on the ground, as soon as these kits gets there.”

WHO spokesperson also added that longer-term needs will include dealing with a potential rise in waterborne diseases and rebuilding “many destroyed health centres.”

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