Analysis: Winning peace in Mozambique’s embattled north | Crisis Group
File photo: O País
The tropical storm that hit central Mozambique last week affected 73,500 people, with the number of deaths remaining at seven, according to a new assessment by the authorities.
The tropical storm, which hit the provinces of Zambézia, Manica and Sofala in central Mozambique, injured 13 people, partially destroyed 18,000 houses and another 12,000 were totally devastated, Xavier Gulele, a technician from the emergency operational centre (CENOE), told Lusa.
“This is an assessment of the three provinces, but the impact on Zambezia province was not great,” he noted.
The storm, nicknamed “Chalane” and which also affected Madagascar, formed in the Indian Ocean, reaching central Mozambique during the early hours of December 30, with the peak winds reaching 120 kilometres per hour.
The bad weather also destroyed 475 classrooms, affecting 57,000 students.
The 26 accommodation centres set up in the provinces of Sofala and Manica welcomed 7,000 affected people but “with the improvement of the weather, people returned to their areas of origin,” and there are now at least 1,600 people in five centres.
According to CENOE, the bad weather knocked down 12,200 electricity poles, and in a preliminary assessment, Mozambique’s electricity system estimated losses of more than 10 million meticais (€108,000).
“We are still in the cyclone season, more systems in the Indian Ocean are going to form and we are monitoring those systems,” said the head of the weather forecast department at the institute of meteorology, Acácio Tembe, at a press conference yesterday in Maputo.
Between the months of October and April, Mozambique is cyclically hit by cyclonic winds from the Indian Ocean and by floods originating in the watersheds of southern Africa, as well as droughts that almost always affect some points in the south of the country.
The 2018/2019 rainy season was one of the most severe in Mozambique: 714 people died, including 648 victims of two cyclones (Idai and Kenneth) that hit the country.