Mozambique orphans of Cyclone Idai escaping floods in Dunkirk style evacuations

  • Video report by ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine

Children in Mozambique who have been made orphans by Cyclone Idai are slowly being evacuated from flood hit areas - in rescues reminiscent of those in Dunkirk during WWII.

They have been rescued and ferried to safety but are completely on their own - their families did not survive.

Many children have been made orphans by the cyclone. Credit: ITV News

The rescue operation out of Beira, Mozambique's fourth largest city and one of the most badly affected by the cyclone and flooding - 90% of all buildings were damaged or destroyed - has involved local fishermen volunteering to help.

Without the assistance of aid, fishermen with boats of varying sizes headed to cut off areas and collected as many people as possible - just like British sailors did following the Battle of Dunkirk.

Local fishermen have volunteered to help. Credit: ITV News

Close to the city of Beira is the district of Buzi which has effectively been turned into a huge lake, littered with ruined homes.

Buzi is effectively now a large lake. Credit: ITV News

Those still in Buzi have been forced to wait for waters to recede after taking refuge on the roofs of the remaining buildings.

Most people affected by what is one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit Mozambique, have had to survive on the bare minimum, without any help from the government.

Survivors have been forced to wait on roofs, hoping aid arrives. Credit: ITV News

After eight days of waiting on roofs, areas of firm land have finally emerged and residents, who have been cut off from the world, flocked to greet an ITV News crew on arrival.

ITV News TV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine was greeted by the residents of Buzi. Credit: ITV News

Erina Tariro, a stranded Buzi resident, told ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine what she thinks the town needs.

"We need food, we need clothes, we need shelter because here we don't have shelter," she said.

"If the rain comes here that means people will receive the rain from there just like that."