10 February 2013

Mozambique: Traffic Interrupted On Main North-South Highway

Maputo — The movement of heavy vehicles along Mozambique’s main north-south highway has been interrupted in the central province of Zambezia due to damage to a bridge in Nicoadala district.

According to the Zambezia provincial delegate of the National Roads Administration (ANE), Daniel Patel, the waters of the Namingorizine river swept away part of the bridge on Friday evening. The ANE has banned heavy vehicles from attempting to use the bridge, but enough of it is intact for light vehicles to make the crossing.

“The cut occurred at 20.00 on Friday, and since then we’ve been working to restrict light vehicles to one lane”, said Patel. “We banned heavy vehicles to avoid a definitive cut in the road, while we are await to erect a metallic bridge”.

A metallic bridge is being brought from the neighbouring province of Sofala, and the ANE hopes to restore normal traffic flows by Sunday afternoon.

Further north, two bridges have been submerged by the Lurio and Lucasse rivers, thus interrupting all traffic on the road between Gurue, in Zambezia, and Cuamba, in Niassa province.

The head of the Etatara administrative post, in Cuamba district, Julio Amade, told reporters that the waters have been rising since early Saturday morning.

He lamented that some people had opted to take small boats across the swollen rivers, thus exposing themselves to serious risks.

The Licungo river at Gurue, and further downstream, at Mocuba, is once again above flood alert level. After falling below the six metre alert level at Mocuba on Thursday, by Saturday the Licungo had risen to 6.14 metres. The river poses a flood threat to cropland near its mouth, in Maganja da Costa district.

In the south of the country, the Limpopo river continued to fall on Saturday, but most of the residents of the flooded town of Chokwe have not yet hazarded a return to their homes.

In Maputo province, the Incomati river is also falling, but remains above flood alert level at the town of Magude. The alert level here is five metres, and the river fell gradually from 5.5 metres on Thursday to 5.35 metres on Saturday.

The country’s largest river, the Zambezi, remains above alert level on its lower reaches. At Caia, the Zambezi rose slightly from 5.08 metres on Thursday to 5.1 metres on Friday, a level which persisted into Saturday. Further downstream, at Marromeu, the level of the river is unclear, since the measuring equipment has been damaged.

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