Maputo — Storms, high winds and floods have so far claimed 33 lives in the 2018-2019 rainy season in Mozambique, according to the country's relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC).
Speaking to reporters on Friday, during a meeting of the government's Disaster Management Technical Council, the INGC spokesperson. Paulo Tomas, said that, since the rainy season began in October, 24 people have been killed by bolts of lightning. Six people have drowned in flooding, and the other three died when walls collapsed on top of them.
He added that so far, 14.150 people have been affected by natural disasters, and are now receiving assistance from the INGC.
586 houses have been destroyed in storms and floods, and a further 2,374 have been damaged. Schools have also suffered with 66 classrooms destroyed and 183 damaged.
Tomas said that the weather forecast for the coming days is for rain in the central and northern provinces, while poor rainfall will continue to characterise the south.
Much of southern Mozambique (notably the interior of Gaza and Inhambane provinces) is naturally semi-arid. This situation is made worse in years marked by the El Nino weather phenomenon.
El Nino is an anomalous warming of the surface waters in parts of the Pacific, which has a major impact on weather patterns worldwide. In southern Africa, it frequently results in severe droughts.