A week after Cyclone Idai hit coastal Mozambique and swept across the country to Zimbabwe, the storm’s aftermath of flooding, destruction and death continues in southern Africa, making it one of the most destructive natural disasters in the region’s recent history.

Floodwaters are rushing across the plains of central Mozambique, submerging homes, villages and entire towns. The flooding has created a muddy inland ocean 50 kilometers (31 miles) wide where there used to be farms and villages, giving credence to Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi’s estimate that 1,000 may have been killed.

Mozambique reports that 200 have died and Zimbabwe reports a similar number but emergency workers say the death toll will continue to rise.

Personnel carry a body from a military helicopter in Chimanimani, about 600 km south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Personnel carry a body from a military helicopter in Chimanimani, about 600 km south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Rains stopped, at least temporarily, Thursday and floodwaters have begun to recede, according to aid groups.

A man stands in flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
A man stands in flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
People wait for a boat ride to be evacuated through the flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
People wait for a boat ride to be evacuated through the flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
A young girl is helped from a boat after being evacuated from flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
A young girl is helped from a boat after being evacuated from flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
Flooding in Sofala Province in Mozambique.;
Flooding in Sofala Province in Mozambique.;
A woman carries some of her belongings through flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Tuesday March 19, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
A woman carries some of her belongings through flood waters following cyclone force winds and heavy rain near the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Tuesday March 19, 2019. (Josh Estey/CARE via AP)
In this photo provided by ActionAid and taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, locals look at a damaged bridge after Cyclone Idai hit, in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. (Tendai Chiwanza/ActionAid via AP)
In this photo provided by ActionAid and taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, locals look at a damaged bridge after Cyclone Idai hit, in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. (Tendai Chiwanza/ActionAid via AP)
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses affected vilagers during his visit to Chimanimani about 600 kilometres south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses affected vilagers during his visit to Chimanimani about 600 kilometres south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A helicopter flies above the area destroyed by cyclone idai in Chimanimani about 600 kilometres south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A helicopter flies above the area destroyed by cyclone idai in Chimanimani about 600 kilometres south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A group of women carry buckets of water to use at a funeral near the area visited by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in Chimanimani, about 600 km south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A group of women carry buckets of water to use at a funeral near the area visited by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in Chimanimani, about 600 km south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday March 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains. (March 19)
Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains. (March 19)

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