Maputo — Torrential rains in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula have halted rail traffic along the northern corridor, from Malawi to the port of Nacala, in the area of Monapo.
On Friday, the Nachicuva River burst its banks and invaded the Monapo municipality, opening a crater about 70 metres long and 35 metres deep.
Part of the railway from Monapo to Nacala was left dangling in mid-air, after the earthworks supporting it were washed away. On Saturday morning all traffic along the line was suspended.
Damage to the line also occurred on a stretch running through the Muhala urban administrative post in the provincial capital, Nampula city.
Cited in Tuesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, Provincial Transport Director Ana Simoes said that the losses arising from the interruption in rail traffic are heavy, and that repairing the damage will require the mobilization of funds and heavy equipment.
One estimate given in the paper is that it will take three weeks to restore normal traffic to the line.
According to the Mayor of Monapo, Joao Luis, last Friday’s rains caused the death of a ten year old child, when the house he was in collapsed.
Over the weekend the storms destroyed at least 283 houses in Monapo, mostly built of mud bricks.
Meanwhile, in the south of the country, electricity supplies to Gaza and Inhambane provinces were cut on Sunday night when a bolt of lightning struck a conductor on the transmission line carrying power to the two provinces from the sub-station at Infulene. The line affected is 400 kilometres long, running through parts of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane provinces.
Certain key public services such as hospitals and the water supply to Xai-Xai and Inhambane cities are not affected because they can draw on alternative sources of electricity. However, these sources are not sufficient to supply all consumers in the two provinces.
The lightning struck at Bobole, in Marracuene district, about 30 kilometres north of Maputo. A team from the electricity company, EDM, was sent to Bobole, where it discovered that one of the three conductors had broken, causing a short circuit. Work was immediately begun to repair the damage and resume normal supplies of power.