VOLUNTEERS from a Chilmark-based disaster response charity are preparing to fly out to Mozambique after the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai, which has left communities cut off by floodwater.

A team of three from Team Rubicon UK is expected to fly out today (March 21).

The charity's CEO Richard Sharp said: "The situation out in Mozambique, it is pretty dire and it's been getting worse. We need to get a team out there as soon as we can."

There has been widespread flooding and devastation affecting Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi after the cyclone hit last Friday.

Richard said that Team Rubicon UK had not initially anticipated having to deploy as there are lots of agencies working in the area but this has changed as the situation worsened.

"Because the rain didn't stop falling and the flood water kept rising the disaster has grown and grown.That is why we are now deploying because the floods were far more severe than anyone thought they were going to be," he adds.

"We are getting reports of families marooned on top of houses, whole communities cut off from roads and infrastructure. There is a very real risk of the death toll continuing to rise through disease, starvation, exposure, and any number of risks facing these people now."

The first team will be going to the capital, Maputo, and then will go to the areas that need help.

Richard said: "Until we get the team there we don't know [what support we will be providing]. As with all these operations it is quite dynamic. We go making some assumptions, there's a lot of communities that have been cut off by water and there is a lot of aid that has got to the country but can't get to the people.

"We specialise in getting water and power into remote communities. It is likely we will look to do water supply and delivering aid into the cut off communities, and potentially using our drone capabilities to try and help map the disaster with our partners out there."

The charity also has 1,000 volunteers on standby who are ready to go if needed.

Richard said: "Being part of this organisation is the privilege of my lifetime, it really is, because you are surrounded by these volunteers who are willing to go to the other side of the world at a drop of a hat to help help people in the darkest days of their lives .

"The people in Mozambique right now, I can't imagine the fear and the suffering and the loneliness that they will be feeling. It is incredible to be part of an organisation that is built solely for those people."

Donations are welcome to support the charity's work in Mozambique. Go to teamrubiconuk.org to find out more.