Accidents Foreign News

Floods kill 66 in Mozambique, 45 in Malawi

Written by Maritime First

…Many pupils feared dead as school building collapses in Lagos***

… 22 persons rescued***

At least 66 people have been killed and 141,000 affected after heavy rains deluged central and northern Mozambique, the government has said as it appealed for funds to manage the crisis.

“The government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday,” said cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana.

She spoke to reporters late Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Maputo to discuss the emergency.

The floods in one of Africa’s poorest countries have already destroyed 5,756 homes, affecting 15,467 households and 141,325 people.

In neighbouring Malawi, floods have already claimed 45 lives and left over 230,000 people without shelter.

Malawi’s Meteorological Department has warned of more rains and flooding in the country’s south between Thursday and Sunday.

In Mozambique, 111 people have been injured, 18 hospitals destroyed, 938 classrooms destroyed and 9,763 students affected.

More than 168,000 hectares (415,000 acres) of crops were destroyed, the government spokeswoman added.

Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas.

“Sixteen accommodation centres have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced,” Comoana said.

“The government needs 1.1 billion meticais ($16 million) to assist 80,000 families affected by the rains”.

Mozambique is prone to extreme weather events. Floods in 2000 claimed at least 800 lives while more than 100 were killed in 2015.

In the meantime, many primary school pupils were feared dead on Wednesday after a three-storeyed building at Ita Faji, Lagos Island, collapsed around 10am.

The school was said to be on the last floor.

A resident of the area, Prince Adams, who alerted our correspondent to the incident on the telephone, said no fewer than 10 pupils had been removed from the rubble so far.

“It is terrible. Parents are crying. I can’t withstand the gorry sight,” he added.

Our correspondent heard cries on the background.

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Kehinde Adebayo, confirmed the collapse, adding that emergency officials were already on ground.

Meanwhile, 22 persons have been rescued from the three-storey building that collapsed at Ita Faji, on Lagos Island on Wednesday.

According to latest update, a total of 22 persons have been rescued from the scene of the collapse.

The three-storeyed building, which housed a primary school on its last floor collapsed around 10am.

Emergency services are on the ground to ensure the rescue of victims.

See tweet from Lagos State Rapid Response Squad on rescue activities:

3 storey building collapses at Itafaji, Lagos Island. Efforts are in progress to rescue victims still trapped in the rubble. #TheGoodGuys pic.twitter.com/uaUe41ao4K

AFP with additional report from Punch

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Maritime First