Maputo — Storms in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia have claimed four lives, and eight other people have been injured, reports the Beira daily paper, "Diario de Mocambique".
The deaths were all due to lightning strikes and occurred in Chinde, Gile and Milange districts, according to Maria Luciano, the Zambezia provincial delegate of the country's relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC).
The torrential rains, accompanied by high winds, have damaged homes and ripped up trees in the provincial capital, Quelimane.
In Lugela distinct, eight shops and two classrooms were damaged. Luciano said that a more detailed survey of the damage is being undertaken by INGC brigades.
She added that, so far, the levels of the main rivers that cross the province - the Zambezi, the Shire and the Licungo - is not alarming, and there is thus no immediate threat of flooding.
Further south, in Sofala province, the rains have submerged the bridge over the Metuchira river in Nhamatanda district. One boat provided by the government and seven canoes are ferrying people across the river. Whenever there are heavy rains, the Metuchira bursts its banks and the bridge is submerged.
The rains have cut roads in several parts of Sofala, cutting district capitals such as Nhamatanda, Chemba and Muchanha off from outlying localities.
The rains have interrupted overland access to the town of Buzi. The town is normally supplied by trucks that turn off the Beira-Zimbabwe road at Tica. But now heavy vehicles can no longer use the 75 kilometre long Tica-Buzi road. Only four wheel drive vehicles can make the journey.
Nonetheless, the Buzi district administrator, Tome Jose, guaranteed there are enough stocks of basic goods available on the local market to see Buzi through the rest of January.