Maputo — The Mozambican electricity company, EDM, has announced the restoration of power supplies to most of the areas in the northern province of Nampula where torrential rains and high winds knocked down pylons on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The areas plunged into darkness were the districts of Angoche, Mogincual, Murrupula, Moma and Lalaua, and the Larde and Chalaua administrative posts.
An EDM press release said that on Wednesday its brigades repaired the Angoche line, where two pylons had been downed. Later the same day the line to Moma and Larde, where three pylons were knocked down was repaired, and power was also restored to Morrupula. On this line the storm had knocked out five pylons.
The Mogincual line was repaired on Thursday, and EDM was hopeful that power would be flowing again in the final district affected, Lalaua, by the end of Friday.
Heavy rains have also brought misery to the central city of Beira, particularly to neighbourhoods such as Munhava and Muchatazina, which have always been vulnerable to flooding.
Some houses built of flimsy materials collapsed, or were damaged, leaving their inhabitants without a roof over their heads. Roads in these areas became impassable, and owners of the privately owned minibuses that provide much of the city's passenger transport, refused to send their vehicles on routes where they feared they would suffer damage.
The outlying suburb of Nhangau, 20 kilometres from central Beira, is practically isolated, with the only access route under water.
The National Meteorology Institute (INAM) forecasts abundant rain until the end of March. Indeed, the weather forecast for most of southern Africa is for normal to above normal rainfall.
The parts of Mozambique most likely to experience above normal rains are the entire central region (Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia provinces), the northern parts of Inhambane and Gaza, southwestern Niassa and southern Nampula.
January to March are usually the wettest months of the year, with the highest risks of floods. An orange alert is in place, and teams of the country's relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) are ready to move into action, in the event that any of the major rivers burst their banks.