Rain and flooding. Some river levels going up and others on the way down. Torrential rains hit parts of northern and central Mozambique over the past week, according to the country´s relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC).
Last Thursday storms struck Memba district, on the coast of the northern province of Nampula. 94 homes built of flimsy materials collapsed in the Memba rains, and another 112 houses were destroyed in storms in the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado on Friday and Sunday
In the central city of Beira, heavy rains inundated 50 houses, affecting 295 people, 67 of whom are now accommodated in a community centre. The INGC has provided three tents to accommodate 14 affected families in the Beira neighbourhood of Chota.
A new threat is now posed by the Licungo river, in the central province of Zambezia. On Monday, at the town of Mocuba, the Licungo reached a height of 8.15 metres, over two metres above flood alert level. The river is threatening to flood parts of the downstream districts of Namacurra and Maganja da Costa.
Rute Nhamucho, a spokesperson for the National Water Board (DNA), warned that about 9,000 people are at risk and should move to higher ground.
“The level of the waters may stabilize in the next two days”, she said, “but will then rise again, because more rain is forecast for Zambezia”.
In Alto Molocue town, the bridge over the Molocue river was submerged
Meanwhile, the Pungue river, in Sofala province, is beginning to subside, which should lead to a normalization of traffic along the Beira-Zimbabwe highway. On Saturday, the flood waters on the road, between Mutua and Tica, about 80 kilometre west of Beira, were 70 centimetres deep. This fell to 29 centimetres on Sunday and 15 centimetres on Monday.
The police were still escorting vehicles across the flooded road on Monday, but if the river continues to drop the current restrictions on traffic could be lifted.
When the flood began, vehicles were banned from driving along the Mutua-Tica stretch at night. The Sofala provincial director of transport, Helcio Canda, told the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”, that, if water levels continue to fall, then night traffic could soon resume.