Mozambique death toll from Cyclone Gombe rises to 48

Cyclone Gombe has flooded large areas of northern and central Mozambique, killing 48 people, officials said on Monday.

The dead included five members of the same family in the Angoche coastal area of Nampula province, Governor Mety Gondola said. The number of injured was now at least 50, the prime minister’s office announced.

Gombe was the most recent of a series of cyclonesto have hit southern Africa so far this year.

Most of the fatalities occurred when the cyclone first hit Mozambique’s northern coast on Friday last week and its strong winds and rains caused many houses to collapse, said the official update.

Some coastal districts in Nampula province remained isolated on Monday, without power, water and communication.

In total, more than 100,000 people were forced to flee their homes by the strong cyclone, according to official figures. About 12,000 houses have been totally destroyed while 11,000 were seriously damaged.

In terms of public infrastructure, two bridges have been destroyed, 16 health units and 113 schools have been reported damaged. More than 140 power lines have been knocked down, according to official figures.

On the historic island of Ilha de Mozambique, six people died and the cyclone toppled several trees that were centuries old. Due to widespread flooding, many residents were desperate and the local government was using boats to provide relief as it was not possible to reach people on foot or by car, Ilha district administrator, Momade Ali, told state television, TVM.

“The situation is more dramatic because some spaces that we had already prepared as reception centres have also been affected,” he said. “There are families hosting about 40 to 50 people in their homes,” he added.

Cyclone Gombe weakened over the weekend but continued to batter northern and central Mozambique with rain and strong winds. Virtually all rivers in the area have reached alert levels and many roads have become impassable. –

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