Ten deaths in Mozambican storms
Since the start of the 2013-14 rainy season in October, ten people have died in thunderstorms, struck by lightning, according to Mozambique’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC).
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Monday, INGC spokesperson Rita Almeida said that two of the deaths occurred in the northern province of Nampula, and the rest in Maputo.
“The health service confirms ten deaths”, she said. “These are the cases that community leaders and health workers have recorded”.
Almeida said that the heavy rains falling in much of the country have destroyed around 3,000 houses built of flimsy materials and 200 classrooms.
“This means that about 15,000 people are affected”, she added. “Some of these houses are now being rebuilt. The local governments are supporting the most vulnerable families in rebuilding their homes, by providing building materials. Food aid has also been channelled to the most vulnerable groups”.
Flavio Monjane, of the National Meteorology Institute (INAM), expressed his concern at the persistent heavy rainfall in Nampula, although in the next day or so the rains are likely to slacken in the south and centre of the country.
According to the National Water Board (DNA), the Licungo river, which flows through the central province of Zambezia, has reached flood alert level. The INGC says that search and rescue equipment is on standby at its central regional headquarters at Caia, and can rapidly be moved to the threatened districts of Namacurra and Maganja da Costa, if necessary.
The level of the Zambezi river is also rising, thanks to heavy rains, not only in Mozambique, but also in Zimbabwe and Malawi. But DNA spokesperson Rute Nhumacho, told the press conference there is no imminent threat of a flood in the Zambezi valley.