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The Latest: Cyclone Idai death toll rises to over 550

CHIMANIMANI, Zimbabwe - The Latest on the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in southern Africa (all times local):

Reports from the United Nations and African governments say Cyclone Idai’s death toll has risen to over 550 people.

A U.N. official says Cyclone Idai has killed 242 people in Mozambique and 56 people in Malawi, according to government reports. Another 259 deaths have been cited in Zimbabwe from the country’s defence minister.

Gemma Connell, head of the U.N. humanitarian office for southern and eastern Africa, said Thursday from Mozambique’s capital of Maputo that those figures are expected to rise, especially in Mozambique, where many areas remain inundated.

Connell visited the Mozambique city of Beira on Wednesday and flew over affected areas including the town of Buzi, which was under water for several days after the cyclone hit March 14. She says there is still the threat of secondary floods.

She said Cyclone Idai has created “a hugely complex situation” that requires “an even more complex response.” She urged nations to donate as much as possible to help those left hungry and homeless.

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