Update, 21 February 2018
Local authorities in Maputo say that at least 71 families have abandoned their homes near the Hulene dump fearing new landslides as rain continued to fall. Maputo has recorded around 50 mm of rain in 48 hours 19 to 21 February.
Iolanda Cintura, governor of Maputo city, visited the host centre set up in the Ferroviário area of the city. She said food and other essential supplies are being provided by the municipality.
Original report, 20 February 2018
At least 17 people died in Mozambique when a large garbage mound collapsed after heavy rainfall.
The incident occurred in the impoverished area of Hulene, on the outskirts of the capital Maputo. The garbage pile, said to have been over 12 metres high, gave way in the early hours of Monday, 19 February.
Hulene landfill is Maputo’s main garbage dump and over the last few years has grown to considerable size. The site is also home to some of the city’s poorest residents who search through the waste to make their living. Many of those who regularly search through the garbage have built homes on the site.
Heavy rain during Sunday and early Monday destabilized the mountain of garbage and at around 03:00 hours it collapsed onto homes below.
“The mountains of garbage collapsed on the houses and many families were still inside these residences,” Fatima Belchoir, a national disaster official, told Portuguese News Agency Lusa.
Authorities were trying to help people who lost their homes, she said.
Emergency service have warned there could be more victims as they continue to search the area.
The heavy rain fell in from Sunday 18 February. According to WMO figures, Maputo recorded 89 mm of rain in 24 hours to early 19 February.
Other areas of the country have also seen heavy rain over the last few days. Inhambane in the south of Mozambique recorded 98 mm of rain in 24 hours to 18 February, with the nearby airport recording 112 mm during the same period.
Floods in the North
At least 11 people died in flooding in the north of Mozambique in January this year.
The provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado all saw heavy rain from 14 January, 2018, triggered by a tropical depression. The city of Nampula recorded over 450 mm of rain between 15 and 19 January. Over 75,000 people were affected by the flooding.
At least 17 people were killed after a 50-foot pile of garbage collapsed on homes during heavy rain in Mozambique.
It happened in an impoverished area where homes were built illegally near the Hulene landfill. pic.twitter.com/m0QfHOPLRu
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 19, 2018
Maputo - February 18 to February 19, 2018
Hulene, Maputo - February 18 to February 19, 2018
Hulene, Maputo - February 18 to February 21, 2018
Authorities say 71 families have evacuated