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Storms during the current rainy season, which began in October, are known to have caused the deaths of 34 people in the central and northern provinces, according to Mozambique’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC).
Speaking to reporters in Maputo on Wednesday, INGC spokesperson Paulo Tomas said that 17 of the fatalities were caused by lightning strikes, and 12 were the result of strong winds blowing down houses. One person was electrocuted and two were drowned. The final two victims were probably also drowned, since they were swept away by strong currents of water.
In the first 13 days of February, Tomas said, thunderstorms, heavy rains and strong winds affected almost 4,000 people in central and northern Mozambique.
Nampula province was particularly badly hit and the INGC, with its partners (including the Mozambican Red Cross) have distributed emergency supplies, (such as cooking kits, recipients for storing water, and blankets) in Nacala, Mozambique Island and Mossuril. Plots of land have been demarked in Mozambique Island and Mossuril for families that lost their houses in the storms.
In Sofala province, three transit centres were set up in Beira which, on Tuesday, were housing 281 people who had lost their homes. In these centres homeless people receive food aid and individual and collective hygiene materials.
Asked about the costs of emergency operations so far, Tomas said the INGC is working within the constraints of the rainy season contingency plan approved by the government. That plan envisages expenditure of 160 million meticais (about 2.6 million dollars) in emergency aid for disaster victims.
The INGC has also been able to rely on support from various Mozambican institutions and companies, who are providing food and non-food support for the storm victims.Source: AIM / Miramar