Floods and tropical cyclone Idai signal red alert in Mozambique

The floods have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people.
A handout aerial photo taken on January 25, 2013 and provided on January 29 by the non-governmental organization Mercy Air Switzerland shows people camping on roofs in the devastated southern Mozambican town of Chokwe, which has borne the brunt of the flooding caused by heavy rains. Officials said on January 29 that the military had been called in to help tackle severe flooding that has killed 48 people and is likely to spread to the country’s central and northern regions. At temporary shelters aid agencies are feeding approximately 70,000 people. AFP PHOTO / MERCY AIR SWITZERLAND RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / MERCY AIR SWITZERLAND” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo by – / MERCY AIR SWITZERLAND / AFP)

The government of Mozambique has decreed a red alert due to continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday.

Cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana spoke to reporters late Tuesday after a meeting of the Council of Ministers held in Maputo to discuss the deadly flooding.

At least 66 lives have already been lost to heavy rains and floods in central and northern Mozambique. The government has appealed for funds to manage the growing crisis.

The floods have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people. 

There are 111 people with injuries, 18 hospitals destroyed, 938 classrooms destroyed and 9,763 students affected. More than 168,000 hectares of crops were also destroyed, the government spokeswoman added.

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Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in these areas. “Sixteen accommodation centres have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced,” Comoana said. 

“The government needs 1.1 billion meticais ($16 million) to assist 80,000 families affected by the rains”. Mozambique is prone to cyclones, floods and droughts, and floods in 2000 claimed at least 800 lives while more than 100 were killed in 2015.

Floods have already claimed 30 lives and left over 230,000 people without shelter in southern Malawi which borders Mozambique.


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