High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique

Cyclone Ana claims eight lives

Maputo, 26 Jan (AIM) – Eight people died when cyclone Ana struck central and northern Mozambique on 24 and 25 January, and 20,650 people were affected by the storm according to the national relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGD).

Although Ana made landfall in Angoche district, in the northern province of Nampula, most of the damage was caused in the central provinces of Tete and Zambezia, and by the torrential downpours, not by the cyclonic winds. Huge quantities of water swept down the main river valleys, washing away roads and bridges.

One prominent victims was the Administrator of Tete district, Jose Mandere. His body was found on 26 January after he had been swept away by the flood waters of the Revubue River, one of the major tributaries of the Zambezi.

Mandere was in the entourage of Tete Provincial Governor, Domingos Viola, returning from a visit, assessing the damage caused by the cyclone in the neighbouring district of Moatize. But the flood destroyed part of the bridge over the Revubue, and four vehicles were dragged away by the rapid current.

“We managed to rescue most of those who were on board the vehicles,” Viola said. “It’s a sad scenario, the bridge has collapsed, and more than 2,000 people have suffered from this flooding”.

On 26 January, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Celso Correia, met with Viola and other members of the Tete provincial authorities to discuss how to support people who have been stranded by the Revubue flood.

The cyclone also knocked out electricity transmission lines in Zambezia, leaving around 60,000 consumers without access to power.

The situation has affected the provincial capital, Quelimane, and Chinde, Derre, Luabo, Mopeia, Morrumbala, Namacurra and Nicoadala districts, but Maria Quipisso, the Customer Care Service manager at Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, assured reporters that work is under way on the ground to swiftly restore power supply.

“We have conducted a preliminary survey and the technical teams are working on the ground. So far, we know that 47 medium voltage pylons were brought down by the storm. There are 12 in Morrumbala, five in Derre and Zalala, eight in Namacurra and Mopeia”, said Quipisso. This was a preliminary assessment – the number of downed pylons might grow, as more information became available.

She said it is too early to speak about the financial losses or equipment underwater as a result of the cyclone. Quipisso urged EDM clients to stay away from submerged electrical equipment.

EDM clients who have metal pylons inside their yards should stay away and should they spot any cables on the ground immediately contact the company for rapid intervention by the technical staff. Quipisso added.

In the central province of Manica, at least two people died on 24 January after the walls of their houses collapsed as a result of the cyclone, which affected the districts of Gondola and Chimoio. In Gondola, the strong winds killed a 70 year old man at the Inchope administrative post, whereas the other victim died in Chimoio.

On 25 January, the cyclone was dissipating, heading away from Mozambique and into neighbouring Zimbabwe. But the National Emergency Operations Centre (CENOE) remains concerned at the likelihood of continued flooding in the Zambezi basin.

The Licungo River in Zambezia is above flood alert level in Gurue, Mocuba and Tacuane. The Mocuba-Lugela, Mocuba-Mocubela and Mulumbo-Milange roads are impassable.