Maputo — The Mozambican relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC), with the support of the National Civil Protection Unit (UNAPROC), has rescued 1,800 people from Nicoadala district, in the central province of Zambezia, which has been buffeted by torrential rains for the past week. The rains have caused the river Licuar to break its banks. According to the INGC central regional director, Belem Monteiro, cited by the Maputo daily “Noticias”, boats have been requested to rescue people cut off by the rising waters.
The Zambezia storms have also destroyed homes in the provincial capital, Quelimane, and 25 displaced families are being sheltered in a temporary accommodation centre. According to Armindo Primeiro, the provincial director of education, 625 schools in Zambezia have been flooded, affecting more than 37,000 pupils. In some cases, classes have continued because religious bodies have provided space for the affected schools.
The rains and lightning bolts have caused nine deaths in Zambezia to date.
One of the major watercourses in Zambezia, the Licungo River, has now surpassed flood alert level for most of its length. At Gurue, where the alert level is 3.5 metres, the river stood at 4.58 metres on Saturday. Further downstream, at Mocuba (where alert level is six metres) the river has continued to rise, from 6.59 metres on Friday to 7.45 metres on Saturday.
The country’s largest river, the Zambezi, remains above alert level on its lower reaches, but is gradually subsiding, as is the Pungoe river, in Sofala province.
The flood surge down the Limpopo, in the southern province of Gaza, which put the entire town of Chokwe under water, is now over. The river is returning to its bed, though it is still above alert level at the Gaza provincial capital, Xai-Xai.