By Hanife Sevinc and Muhammet Ikbal Arslan
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkish aid agencies rolled up their sleeve to aid cyclone-hit southeastern African countries on Friday.
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) will send humanitarian aid to areas hit by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, the state-run aid agency said in a statement.
The aid will be delivered in a ship leaving from Mozambique’s capital Maputo to 600 families in need.
The ship will also carry humanitarian aids provided by various national and international agencies.
At least 500 containers with food and personal materials will reach Mozambique’s Beira city on Sunday.
The Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) is also preparing to send aid to cyclone-hit countries, it said in a statement.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) will also send a relief team to the regions.
Cyclone Idai, made a landfall in Mozambique's port city of Beira March 14 with winds of up to 110 miles (177 kilometers) per hour, killing several people in Mozambique and neighboring Zimbabwe.
Television stations in South Africa showed footage of trapped victims being rescued from villages and a stadium.
Meanwhile, Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said Monday he believes the death toll following Idai's landfall could reach at least 1,000. But as of Friday, 300 deaths had officially been confirmed.
According to UN statements and local media, tens of thousands of victims have lost their homes, crops washed away and roads have been damaged across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Gift of the Givers is also offering relief and rescue missions in Zimbabwe and Malawi.
* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur