Mozambique Floods – Death Toll Rises, Further Heavy Rainfall

Mozambique’s disaster management agency INGC said yesterday that the death toll from the current flood situation has risen to 117.

INGC also say that floods have affected 157,000 people, most of them in the province of Zambézia. As many as 50,000 are currently displaced, staying in relief centres. Over 40 relief centres have been set up to accommodate the displaced. It is thought that over 11,000 houses have been destroyed in the flooding.

mozambique floods
Cooking in a displacement camp in Mocuba, Mozambique. Photo: UNICEF Mozambique

Crops, roads and bridges have been destroyed by the flooding. Government and humanitarian agencies are still carrying out assessments of the flood affected areas.

Zambézia

By far the worst affected region by far is Zambézia, where almost 120,000 people have been affected by the floods.

According to ECHO (European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department), 5,319 houses have been completely destroyed and over 4,000 damaged in the province. Six health centres and 57 bridges have also been destroyed by the floods. Floods have also destroyed power infrastructure and Some parts of the province have been without electricity for over 10 days.

More Heavy Rain

Just as the flood situation appeared to be easing, more heavy rain has fallen across northern areas of Mozambique and Malawi.

Quoting UN sources, ECHO say that flood water has started to recede in the Licungo river basin, “although some areas remain flooded, particularly in lower Licungo in the Maganja da Costa and Namacurra districts. The reduction in water levels has allowed for road and bridge reconstruction on the main national road, which connects the central with the northern part of the country”.

Rita Almeida of the Mozambican relief agency INGC told AFP, “The situation is stable, as we did not record any new recurrences of flooding in the past days. It is still raining, but with much less intensity and without significant impact,”

However there has been further heavy rainfall over the last 24 to 48 hours in both Mozambique and neighbouring Malawi, which is currently suffering one of the worst floods seen in the country for over 20 years.

In Lichinga, capital of Niassa Province, 62 mm of rain fell in the 24 hour period to 26 January 2015, according to WMO figures.

In Malawi, Chichiri, Blantyre, saw 87 mm fall in the same period, and Chitipa, capital of Chitipa District, saw 55.8 mm of rain.