Cy­clone Di­neo is still DAN­GER­OUS

Heavy rain ex­pected, de­spite storm be­ing down­graded, writes Sizwe sama Yende

CityPress - - News -

The Mozam­bi­can gov­ern­ment de­ployed a team to as­sess the dam­age in the af­ter­math of trop­i­cal cy­clone Di­neo this week as mop-up op­er­a­tions be­gan in earnest.

At least 116 gov­ern­ment build­ings, in­clud­ing hos­pi­tals, had their roofs blown off and more than 170 000 peo­ple were af­fected when strong winds and down­pours swept through the cities of In­ham­bane and Max­ixe, as well the dis­tricts of Mor­rum­bene, Massinga, Jangano, In­har­rime, Panda, Vi­lankulo, Fun­halonso, Mabote and Ho­moine.

Di­neo’s trail of de­struc­tion has left seven peo­ple dead and scores in­jured. Disaster man­age­ment spokesper­son Antonio Beleza yes­ter­day said one bridge and 24km of roads had been dam­aged.

“Gov­ern­ment has de­ployed a team on the ground to as­sess the dam­age and the costs. A joint mul­ti­sec­toral gov­ern­ment and hu­man­i­tar­ian team will be re­port­ing back soon.”

He said gov­ern­ment has in the mean­time been pro­vid­ing re­lief to af­fected peo­ple, in­clud­ing tents, wa­ter pu­ri­fiers, soap, mos­quito nets and ba­sic food­stuff.

Beleza said gov­ern­ment had dis­trib­uted 512 tons of ce­real, 51 tons of sugar, 19 tons of salt, 19 tons of cook­ing oil and 128 tons of seeds.

“A con­sid­er­able num­ber of peo­ple are al­ready re­con­struct­ing their houses. Pa­tients and pris­on­ers were re­moved to safer ar­eas be­fore the cy­clone hit and school classes were sus­pended,” he said.

De­spite warn­ings from the SA Weather Ser­vice, there was lit­tle dam­age re­ported in Mpumalanga and Lim­popo. Mpumalanga co­op­er­a­tive gov­er­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs depart­ment spokesper­son Ge­orge Mthethwa said 15 mud houses were dam­aged in Louisville out­side Bar­ber­ton be­cause of per­sis­tent rain.

In Lim­popo, depart­ment spokesper­son Mo­tupa Selomo said some dam­age had been ex­pe­ri­enced in the Vhembe dis­trict, but he could not pro­vide de­tails.

The Zim­bab­wean gov­ern­ment was brac­ing it­self for the cy­clone and an­nounced on Fri­day that it was ready to of­fer as­sis­tance, par­tic­u­larly in south­ern parts of the coun­try, in­clud­ing Masvingo, south­ern Mid­lands and parts of Mata­bele­land. No dam­age had been re­ported at the time of go­ing to press last night.

The cy­clone hit Zim­babwe on Fri­day night. Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter Saviour Ka­sukuwere said the Civil Pro­tec­tion Unit had ac­ti­vated its emer­gency op­er­a­tions cen­tre to en­sure ef­fec­tive re­sponses, while civil pro­tec­tion struc­tures at na­tional and sub­na­tional lev­els were on standby to man­age any emer­gen­cies.

In the lat­ter half of Fri­day, patches of heavy rain were re­ported over the western parts of Lim­popo, as well as in north­ern Botswana, as the rem­nants of the cy­clone moved pro­gres­sively west­wards.

By yes­ter­day, patches of heavy rain per­sisted over the north­ern parts of Namibia and Botswana.

The risk of flood­ing was par­tic­u­larly se­vere along the banks of the lower Lim­popo and Oli­fants rivers be­cause they flow through south­ern Mozam­bique to­wards the flood­plain re­gion ad­join­ing XaiXai in the south of the coun­try.

PHO­TOS: LEON SADIKI

PHO­TOS: STEVEN CLAREY VIA TWIT­TER

DE­STRUC­TION TRAIL Trop­i­cal cy­clone Di­neo left a trail of de­struc­tion in its path as it hit the north­ern coast of Mozam­bique

PHO­TOS: LEON SADIKI

DE­TER­MINED The an­tic­i­pated storm brought min­i­mal dam­age in the Vhembe dis­trict in Lim­popo by Fri­day, but those who chose to be out­side had to deal with heavy winds

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