10 January 2018

Mozambique: Storm Disrupts Rail Traffic

Maputo — The heavy rains that struck Maputo on Monday night and Tuesday morning have disrupted rail traffic along the line from South Africa to the Mozambican capital.

According to a release from the publicly owned ports and rail company, CFM, the rains opened a crater under the tracks on a stretch of line between Machava and Infulene stations.

The crater was discovered at 04.00 on Tuesday, when a CFM goods train, carrying 40 wagons loaded with chrome, was forced to interrupt its journey to Maputo port. Throughout Tuesday CFM teams worked to fill in the crater and to restore normal rail traffic. As from 18.30 on Tuesday evening, trains could move along the line again.

As happens every rainy season, the Monday storms caused severe damage in several flood-prone neighbourhoods.

In an immediate reaction from the Maputo Municipal Council, the Councillor for Health and Social Welfare, Yolanda Manuel, announced that the Council has two million meticais (about 34,000 US dollars) available to minimise the storm damage.

She said that, while nobody had died in the storm “there has been a lot of material damage”, and some farmers in Maputo's semi-rural neighbourhoods had lost much of their crops. Some roads in the city became impassable, either because of the storm waters or because of fallen trees.

Manuel said that four households in Maxaquene C neighbourhood were driven out of their homes when they were inundated on Monday night. They took shelter briefly in a local primary school, but when the rain stopped they returned to their homes.

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