Mozambique | Floods and Cyclones - Operations Update n° 3 MDRMZ016



Description of the crisis

Vulnerable families in the central Provinces of Mozambique have been left devasted once again and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including shelter materials to rebuild homes and cash assistance to help restore livelihoods.

In recent years, Mozambique has suffered repeated devastating cyclones and floods, particularly the central Provinces and this year has been no exception. Tropical Storm Ana making landfall on 24 January 2022, Tropical Storm Dumako on 17 February, and Tropical Cyclone Gombe making landfall less than a months later in March. Weather systems in 2022 have impacted the same regions as 2021 (Tropical Storm Chalane and Tropical Storm Eloise) and 2019 (Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth), depleting community resilience and halting the path to recovery. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth were the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa in at least two decades wreaking havoc in the spring of 2019, killing at last 1,000 people and displacing some 2.2 million people.

According to the latest OCHA update there is serious concern that the magnitude of damage caused by Gombe is not yet fully determined as humanitarian partners are gradually accessing areas that had been cut off by floods, specifically in Zambezia.

Tropical Storm Ana

On 24 January 2022, Tropical Storm Ana made landfall in Angoche, Nampula Province on 24 January 2022 with wind speeds from 100-130 km/h. The storm brought precipitation of 200mm in 24 hours, leading to immediate flooding in the Licungo and Luazi Rivers. Twenty-four hours after landfall, tropical storm Ana turned into a tropical depression system and brought significant rainfall to the northern and central regions. Heavy rainfall also impacted Malawi, the runoff of which also reached the Rovùbué and Zambezi Rivers in Mozambique. It was reported that 207 people were injured, 38 deaths and an estimated 185,429 people have been affected and 11,7457 houses destroyed throughout the country.

Tropical Cyclone Gombe

On 11 March Severe Tropical Cyclone Gombe (Category 3) made landfall in Mongicual District, Nampula Province. Windspeeds were recorded as 190km/h, a category 3 storm, followed by 200mm of rainfall in 24 hours. Initial assessments register 82 injured and killing at least 61, 488,570 people affected mostly in the provinces of Nampula, Zambezia, Sofala, Niassa and Tete as of 20 March. Gombe heavily affected the provinces of Nampula and Zambezia, and to a lesser extent Sofala, Beira, Tete, and Niassa provinces. The majority of the deaths were recorded in the western province of Nampula, which was the hardest hit. A total of 46,265 houses have been completely destroyed, while 41 health centers, 1,458 classrooms have been severely damaged.

The storm followed a curved path through Nampula and Zambezia Provinces, causing the same areas to receive concentrated rainfall of 200mm in 24 hours for multiple days. While Nampula Province had more wind damages, Zambezia was marked by flooding. After re-entering the Mozambican channel, the storm returned to Zambezia province on 17 March as a tropical depression. On 18 March high levels of rainfall led to floods in Sofala Province. The combined impact of the storms in the 2021/22 rainy season is devastating, in particular on housing, livelihoods, health and provision of water and sanitation for highly vulnerable populations, already affected by previous disasters, and with limited resources available to cope.

There are serious concerns about the widespread floods, displacements, damages to critical public infrastructures and private houses, as well as the interruption of basic services. The floods also swept away livestock and drowned fields, destroying the livelihoods of many inhabitants and precursing food insecurity in the coming months. Waterborne and vector borne illness is expected to rise including acute watery diarrhea, malaria and cholera, which has a confirmed outbreak in Caia, Sofala Province since the end of February. There has been an increase in diarrhea in Sofala, Zambezia and Nampula provinces. It is likely that cholera will spread into other regions due to the massive floods.