Aid workers scrambled to save hundreds trapped by floods around the Mozambican port city of Beira on Wednesday, after a powerful cyclone killed hundreds of people and left a trail of destruction across swathes of southeast Africa.

Rescue workers help affected residents after cyclone damage in Beira, Mozambique March 19, 2019 in this image taken from social media.

Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique’s port city of Beira with winds of up to 170 kilometre per hour, last Thursday, then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, flattening buildings and putting the lives of millions at risk.

At least 200 people have died in Mozambique and 98 in Zimbabwe, but the death toll is likely to rise as rescuers are still finding bodies.

Hundreds were clinging onto trees or roofs, waiting for rescue teams. Roads in and around Beira were swamped and heavy rain was continuing to fall, complicating rescue efforts and meaning that aid had to be flown in by helicopter or plane.

The floods have also brought the threat of waterborne diseases.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has declared three days of national mourning starting on Wednesday and has said the eventual death toll from the cyclone and ensuing floods could rise to more than 1,000.