by Cara Anna, Global News
Her name is Chuva, which in Portuguese means rain. For four days that was all she saw as she clung to her rooftop in the cyclone’s aftermath and prayed to be saved.
Maria Chuva clasped her 5-year-old daughter, Amiel, to her tightly as she recounted the panic of opening her front door to water that came up to her neck, and scrambling with her family to the roof.
Now, after elbowing her way onto a rescue boat for a bewildering journey with her two girls to the inundated port city of Beira, she paused in the din of a displacement camp to reflect on losing everything but her children — and the splintered families now around her. The orphans are especially hard for her to bear.
“It hurts me so bad,” she said.
An estimated 900,000 children have been orphaned or separated from their families, made homeless or otherwise affected by Cyclone Idai, half of the 1.8 million people impacted overall, according to Mozambican government figures.