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The storms and high winds that battered southern and central Mozambique over the past week directly affected 667 households (around 3,430 people), according to the country’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC).
Speaking to reporters in Maputo on Thursday, the INGC spokesperson, Paulo Tomas, said the southern province of Gaza was the worst affected region. 3,200 people were affected in Gaza, where 623 houses were destroyed or damaged. In the centre of the country, 30 houses were damaged or destroyed in Zambezia province, and 14 in Tete. The storms also destroyed 13 classrooms in four schools.
As for possible deaths and injuries, Tomas said the INGC could only confirm that two people had been injured. It is waiting for more detailed information from the health authorities. However, information that AIM has received from other sources in Tete point to at least two deaths, and the destruction of 35 houses.
Tomas said that rainfall in the final days of 2017 reached between 100 and 200 millimetres in Zambezia and in the northern provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado. However, he had no information on any damage caused in the north of the country.
Tomas said the INGC has teams stationed at strategic points, ready to provide assistance as and when needed. Members of the Civil Protection Unit (UNAPROC) have been positioned on the Zambezi, Pungoe, Buzi and Licungo rivers. At each river UNAPROC has two boats that can help local people cross the rivers safely.
Tomas added that the INGC is continuing to urge people to move away from areas at risk of flooding, and to follow the preventive measures announced by the authorities.
Heavy rains are forecast to continue for at least the next ten days. “Significant rainfall” is particularly likely in coastal areas, because of a cyclone that has formed in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar.
Cyclone Ava is expected to make landfall on the Madagascar coast on Friday, and then move southwards. On its current trajectory, it will not hit Mozambique, but it is likely to influence the weather in coastal Mozambican provinces, causing winds of up to 60 or 70 kilometres an hour.Source: AIM / TVM
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