Mozambique: Death Toll Rising in Mozambique Flooding Crisis
15 March, 2019, 10:13
At least 115 people were killed in Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa after heavy rains affected 843 000 people across southeast Africa, officials and the United Nations said, prompting calls for emergency aid.
"The government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday", said cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana. Storm-surge flooding may also spread farther up the river, inundating homes and businesses.
Cyclone Eline, which hit the country in February 2000 when it was already devastated by its worst floods in three decades, left 350 dead and 650 000 homeless across southern Africa.
Flooding from the storm's first round inundated almost 650 square miles, destroyed 18 hospitals, 938 classrooms and injured 122 people.
Almost 17,100 people are estimated to be displaced in Zambezia, Tete and Niassa, who are sheltering in 15 transit centres, and almost 12,500 houses are reported to have been destroyed. Almost 1.6 million people are estimated to live in areas that could be impacted by high wind speeds ( 120km/h), according to the latest analysis from UNOSAT.
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"The government needs 1.1 billion meticais (US$16m) to assist 80 000 families affected by the rains".
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from the cyclone Idai, which dumped more water and brought destruction on areas where scores have already been killed and tens of thousands displaced by floods over the past week.
"It's an intense tropical cyclone; it will have winds of 105 knots (200km/h) when it makes landfall", said Vermeulen.
Cyclone Idai is expected to produce winds of up too 200-kilometres an hour.
According to the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management, the National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE) is prepared for extreme weather events and in 2017, the CENOE demonstrated the use of drones to allow teams to assess the impact and scale of natural disasters.
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