Strong winds may hit central and Southern Mozambique - INAM
File photo: Lusa
A total of 714 people died and another 2.8 million were affected by natural disasters during the 2018/2019 rainy season, a period during which two cyclones hit Mozambique, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) said on Friday.
“It was an atypical period and the lessons learned in response to the extreme events of the recent past will serve as a starting point for the restructuring of our disaster risk management and coordination mechanism,” INGC Director-General Augusta Maita told a press conference in Maputo.
The latest rainy season was the worst among the last four, Maita said. noting that, since the 2012/2013 season, the number of deaths had varied from 63 to 161.
In addition to cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which alone caused 648 deaths and affected about 1.8 million people in central and northern provinces of Mozambique in March and April of this year, the last rainy season also saw the passing of a tropical depression (Desmond), drought, earthquakes, heavy rains and winds, sometimes accompanied by lightning.
As regards seasonal illnesses, the authorities recorded 434,971 cases of diarrhoea and 67 deaths during the period, compared with 453,962 cases and 79 deaths in the previous rainy season.
In agriculture, disasters affected 103 districts with a total area of approximately 933,064 hectares of diverse crops, directly affecting 544,515 families.
“Heavy rainfall and flooding had significant impacts on access roads, most notably in the central provinces affected by Cyclone Idai and in the northern zone by (tropical depression) Kenneth,” Maita added, calling for better preparation against natural disasters.
Mozambique is typically flooded between October and April as a result of its geographical location in the downstream part of most southern Africa’s main watersheds.Source: Lusa