Mozambique + 1 more

The Red Cross prepares for cyclone Favio in Mozambique

The Mozambique Red Cross with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are bracing themselves for another preparedness operation as Cyclone Favio set to hit Sofala and Inhambane provinces and the surrounding areas.

A tropical cyclone, FAVIO, of category 2 (out of 5) is approaching the coast of Mozambique with a 48 hour prediction showing that the cyclone is heading towards the provinces Sofala and Inhambane. Sofala

Province is currently suffering from the spate of floods after the Zambezi river burst its bank and displaced over 120 000 people and killed about 30 people.

Cyclone Flavio, which has so far left nearly 25,000 people in urgent need of assistance and trail of destruction in Madagascar, has gain more strengthen which could see worse destructions in the already ailing province of Sofala.

"The meteorological office have indicated that the cyclone is in the Indian Ocean is intensifying with the wind strength of 160 km (100 miles) an hour. We are now activating our early warning system and activation of the contingency plans," says Fernanda Teixeira, the Mozambique Red Cross secretary general.

The Mozambique Red Cross which is part of the government disaster coordinating body has alerted the provincial delegations of the concerned provinces, which are through their staff and volunteers disseminating the information to communities.

"Our disaster management team part of which is currently busy responding to the floods in Sofala, Tete, Zambezi and Manica is currently on standby monitoring the situation. It will be a sad scenario for the people of Sofala to be hit by a Cyclone at a time when they are healing from the recent flooding," says Fernanda Teixeira.

The local meteorological office here has asked the provincial authorities to start implementing preparedness measures to reduce the impact of the cyclone should it hit Sofala, Inhambane and Gaza provinces at the current strength.

The government of Mozambique and several humanitarian agencies including the Mozambique Red Cross with the support of the International Federation are currently battling against time to provide relief amid reports of disease outbreaks and lack of food among some of the camps.

The International Federation has a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) and Emergency Response Units (ERU) team in Mozambique for the flood operation with members in Maputo and Sofala province. The team, which is made up experience disaster management personnel at global level, is closely monitoring the situation and informing the Mozambique Red Cross volunteers and staff through their existing structures.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently launched an emergency appeal for 7,5 million Swiss francs (US$ 5.6 million/€ 4.3 million) to support the Mozambique Red Cross Society's response to the devastating floods. The appeal is meant to support Mozambique Red Cross in providing temporary shelter to 100,000 people in the four affected provinces, as well as distributing 5,000 tents, 15,000 tarpaulins, 40,000 blankets, 20,000 kitchen sets, bars of soap and 40,000 mosquito nets. The appeal funds will also finance the provision of safe water to affected people and the construction of 500 latrines. The can only happen when the appeal gets adequate funding.

"The international community need to urgently respond to our flood operations appeal and as the situation of the affected people is rapidly deteriorating. We also need to increase our response capacity by building on the current response operations to reach the victims in the disaster areas with basic commodities and make a difference to the most affected," says Hanna Schmuck, the Federation's FACT leader in Mozambique. "The cyclone is obviously going to strain current relief operations."

For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

In Mozambique: Tapiwa Gomo, Regional Information Officer Tel: + 258 82 705 6076

In Geneva: Jean-Luc Martinage, Press Officer for Africa Tel: + 41 22 730 4296 / + 41 79 217 33 86

Duty phone Tel: + 41 79 416 38 81

The Federation, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. www.ifrc.org