Maputo — Since the start of the current rainy season, in October 2017, 14 people have died in storms in various parts of Mozambique, according to data released on Wednesday by the country's relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC).
INGC spokesperson Paulo Tomas told a Maputo press conference that the storms had affected almost 26,000 people, and that the heavy rains and high winds had destroyed 4,786 houses. In addition 207 classrooms and eight health units had been damaged or destroyed, and 68 electricity pylons had been blown down.
Over the past week (3-9 January) there had been rainfall of between 50 and 200 millimetres in almost the entire country, particularly the northern provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado.
There were also severe storms in Maputo city and province caused by an area of low pressure, and the passage of a “very active” weather front. Thunderstorms had raged in the skies above Maputo, accompanied by lightning strikes, particularly on Monday night.
The Maputo storms, Tomas said, had completely destroyed two houses in Matola city, and had flooded 29 others. Storms in the same period struck the western province of Tete, damaging 31 houses and nine classrooms.
Tomas stressed that this data is preliminary. The INGC is now using unmanned aircraft (drones) to survey Maputo and Matola and gauge the real level of damage in the two cities.