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Seven people have died in Inhambane and a further 130,000 have been affected by the tropical cyclone which struck Mozambique’s southern provinces, the director of the National Emergency Operational Center (CNOE) said on Thursday.
Speaking during a press conference assessing the impact of Tropical Cyclone Dineo, Mauricio Xerinda said that, in Inhambane alone, the province worst affected by the phenomenon, nearly 20,000 houses were destroyed and 104 classrooms damaged.
“At the moment, work to update data is underway, but we have problems due to lack of communication, as access is limited,” Xerinda said, adding that much of Inhambane province was suffering a power outage due to electricity poles have been brought down.
The districts of Massinga, Morrumbene, Maxixe, Jangamo, Zavala, Homoíne Vilanculos Inharrime and Inhassoro, all in the coastal zone, were hardest hit, leading Mozambican authorities to activate emergency operational centers there.
According to the CNOE director, 49 hospital units were affected and 51 public buildings partially destroyed, in addition to three communication towers being brought down.
“We are providing tents and food to affected families,” he said, adding that that the Mozambican government continued to monitor the situation in Inhambane and also in Gaza province, where cyclone damage was less severe and there were no fatalities.
Contacted by Lusa, meteorologist Acácio Tembe of the National Meteorological Institute said that the cyclone, which reached the coastal zone of Inhambane on Wednesday, was losing strength and was expected to become a simple low pressure system within the next few hours.
“At this point, we can say that it is not even a cyclone, just a tropical depression. It is losing strength, and is now headed north of Gaza province, and is likely to stop at the border with South Africa,” the meteorologist said.
The cyclone began as a tropical depression in the Mozambique Channel and increased speed as it approached the coast, with winds reaching speeds of more than 100 kilometers per hour by noon Wednesday, with gusts of up to 150 kilometers per hour.
Speaking at the opening of the First International Seminar of the Network of Ombudsmen and National Human Rights Commissions of the CPLP in Maputo on Thursday, Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi expressed his concern for the affected populations, promising that the government would do everything in its power to assist those affected by the storm.
“We want to send a message of great strength and courage, promising that the government will do everything it can to respond as quickly as possible to these natural disasters,” the president said.Source: Lusa