Mozambique Shudders Over Another Cyclone

Report
from Pan African News Agency
Published on 04 Mar 2000
MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - As rescue teams continued to salvage flood victims in southern and central Mozambique, fears were growing that another cyclone would hit the country.
The cyclone named "Gloria" has been noticed to be forming in the Indian Ocean, north-east of Madagascar.

Aid organisations are apprehensive that it could move westward and hit the Mozambican coast.

However, Mussa Mustafa, head of the weather forecasting department of the National Meteorological Institute, said that before Gloria could be regarded as a threat, it would have to enter the Mozambique Channel.

"We are monitoring the situation, and at the opportune moment we will issue statements on the evolution of this weather phenomenon, should it enter the Mozambique Channel", he was cited in Friday's issue of the daily "Noticias".

Last week Cyclone Eline left a trail of destruction across Inhambane, Sofala and Manica provinces, compounding the damage caused by an earlier flooding.

South African Air Force helicopters operating in the flood-stricken districts of Chokwe and Chibuto in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza rescued 6,600 people over the last four days.

The National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) said the South African pilots also recovered two bodies that were floating in the water, and one that was hanging in a tree.

A total of 39.6 tonnes of humanitarian aid was flown to the accommodation centres at Bilene and Magul, where victims are being housed.

Aid has also now reached flood victims in Govuro and Machanga districts, near the mouth of the Save river.

The INGC notes that several of the flooded rivers are now subsiding.

The peak of the Limpopo flood appears to have passed, and on Thursday the river dropped 13 centimetres. The Save and the Buzi are also slowly dropping.

But there are now concerns about the Shire river, a major tributary of the Zambezi. Water is pouring down the Shire from Malawi, posing a threat to parts of Tete and Zambezi provinces.

But the INGC said there was no immediate threat from the Cahora Bassa dam.

It added that the dam reservoir has the capacity to accumulate more water for a further two months. Thus it seems that the Zambian decision to open the flood gates on the Kariba dam will not force the Cahora Bassa authorities to follow suit.

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