Heavy rains and flooding damage or destroy more than 10,200 homes in Mozambique

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Mozambique

More than 58,800 people in the provinces of Zambezia, Cabo Delgado and Sofala have been affected by flooding since December that has also damaged infrastructure and destroyed crops.

  • At least 28 people have died and more than 58,800 have been affected by heavy rains and flooding in Mozambique, with Zambezia, Cabo Delgado and Sofala provinces hardest-hit.
  • The Government of Mozambique declared an Orange Alert on 28 December 2019 due to strong winds and heavy rains in the central and northern regions of the country.
  • Several key bridges have been damaged, including the bridge over the Montepuez River on road N380 in Cabo Delgado, cutting off people in surrounding areas from essential services and assistance.
  • Chipembe Dam, in Cabo Delgado, is now at 100 per cent capacity and having daily uncontrolled over spill.
  • In the last 24 hours, water levels have started to rise across Sofala Province, mainly in Beira City, Buzi and Nhamatanda districts, all of which were affected by Cyclone Idai in March 2019.


Since December 2019, Mozambique has experienced strong rains, winds and flooding, affecting at least 58,851 people, in Zambezia (17,432), Cabo Delgado (13,169 people), Sofala (6,328), Niassa (5,150), Nampula (4,915), Gaza (4,806), Maputo City (2,927), Manica (1,684), Tete (1,480) and Maputo (960), according to the National Disaster Management Institute (Instituto Nacional de Gestão de Calamidades, INGC). More than 10,200 houses have been damaged or destroyed, including 2,589 completely destroyed, and at least 47 schools have been affected. At least 28 people have died, and 66 have been injured, since the storms began, according to INGC.

In Zambezia, the province with the highest number of people affected, flooding since the beginning of 2020 has damaged infrastructure, destroyed crops and led to displacement. Nearly 2,300 hectares of crops are currently flooded across the province, less than two months before the planned March harvest. On 5 January, the electrical system of the water treatment plant in Maganja da Costa District was damaged. According to the INGC, water points have also been damaged, especially in neighbourhoods in Namacurra District where people were resettled after Cyclone Idai. In Maganja da Costa and Nicoadala districts, more than 180 shelters were swept away in the resettlement sites in the first week of January, and at least 290 latrines were destroyed, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), increasing the risk of communicable diseases.

In Cabo Delgado, which has been one of the hardest-hit provinces, strong winds and heavy rains on 28 December 2019 caused flooding across eight districts and damaging the province’s infrastructure: 59 electricity poles fell down; and several bridges were damaged, most notably the bridge over Montepuez river on road N380. Although 80 per cent of damaged electric poles have already been rehabilitated, five districts (Muidumbe, Mueda, Nangade, Palma and Mocimboa da Praia) remain without electricity, hampering access to safe water in these areas. Livelihoods were also impacted in the province, with 40 boats destroyed and 21 damaged, affecting 1,220 fishermen in the coastal districts. About 4,000 hectares of agriculture land were flooded. About 51 metric tonnes (MT) of maize and 25 MT of beans will be required to replace the lost produce in the second agricultural season. According to the water management authorities, Chipembe Dam (near Balama) is now at 100 per cent capacity and having daily uncontrolled over spill. Some of the areas hardest-hit by floods in Cabo Delgado, including Quissanga District, were still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, which struck the province in April 2019. The floods may also heighten the needs of the estimated 60,000 people displaced or otherwise affected by violence in the province since October 2017.

In Sofala Province, heavy rains have caused flash and riverine floods since December 2019, impacting some of the areas hardest-hit by Cyclone Idai in March last year, including neighbourhoods where people were resettled after the cyclone. Several roads are impassable and access to remote villages in Buzi District is very limited. There are reports that people who need medical assistance are not able to access Buzi Town. According to IOM, over 3,676 shelters in the resettlement sites across Sofala have been damaged, including nearly 500 that were completely destroyed, following heavy rains on 10 December. In addition, 300 latrines were damaged and the clinics in Metuchira and Kura resettlement sites, Nhamatanda District, were swept away by the floods. In the last 24 hours, water levels have started to rise across Sofala, mainly in Beira City, Buzi and Nhamatanda districts, increasing the risk of flooding. In Beira, around 300 people sheltered in three different schools during the night of 20 January as their houses were flooded, according to INGC. The majority went back home on 21 January, as the water receded, but about 10 families are still in the Matadouro School, in Beira. In Buzi, 48 people had to be evacuated from risky areas on 20 January to temporary accommodation centres.

Exclusion zone still in force as Taal Volcano emissions continue

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Philippines

As of 21 January, more than 271,000 people are affected, of whom more than 148,000 are being assisted in over 490 evacuation centres, and over 87,000 people are with host families.
Situation Overview

The Taal Volcano continues to be active more than one week after it erupted on 12 January.
Activity in the past 24 hours has been characterized by a steady steam emission and infrequent weak explosions. These emissions have generated ash plumes between 500 and 1,000 meters tall and have dispersed ash southwest of the main crater, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

While the volcano is exhibiting less intensive activity than in previous days, the possibly of a larger eruption has not been ruled out and PHIVOCS has maintained Alert Level-4 (out of 5) signifying that a hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours or days. Ongoing seismic activity and an observed deformation of the volcano over the past 24 hours likely signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the volcano, raising concerns of further eruptive activity. The potential for an explosive eruption leading to a fast-moving pyroclastic base surge of hot gases and volcanic material is of particular concern.

A total evacuation order remains in place for the Taal Volcano Island and high-risk areas within the 14-km radius of the volcano’s crater and along the Pansipit River Valley where fissuring has been observed. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as of 21 January, more than 271,000 people are affected, of whom more than 148,000 people are being assisted in over 490 evacuation centres, and over 87,000 people are with host families. The Department of Education reports that more than 300 schools are being used as evacuation centres, affecting more than 9,700 students. According to the Department of Agriculture, more than 15,000 hectares of agricultural lands have been affected. The financial cost of damage and losses to agriculture and fisheries is estimated at ₱3.17 billion (US$ 62 million), with the fisheries sector accounting for about half of the losses.

Government response and support by humanitarian partners

Provincial and municipal authorities are leading the disaster response with the support of the Department of Social Welfare and Development field office and the Philippine Red Cross. Local authorities are distributing relief items as they continue to assess needs. A total of more ₱ 8.5 million (US$ 167,000) worth of assistance has so far been provided by DSWD to affected people. The Philippine Red Cross are distributing aid and have set up first aid stations and welfare desks to provide psychosocial support to affected people. The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PFRF) is coordinating with its private sector members who are providing road clearing and mobile service support, water, food, face masks, and other relief items.

UN agencies and humanitarian partners with existing programmes in-country are assisting the Government with technical and logistical support to local and regional authorities to assess and respond to the needs of people affected by the disaster. Following a request by DSWD, the UN and partners are supporting the Government in conducting a sectoral assessment of the humanitarian needs of displaced people in evacuation centres on 21-22 January.

Spartan Relief Supplies joins HLA

HLA is pleased to announce that Spartan Relief Supplies Ltd has joined HLA as a partner. SRSL is based in Nairobi, Kenya and has been in the business of supplying Humanitarian Aid to various humanitarian agencies since 1992.

Managing Director, Diptesh Shah states that: "SRSL’s mission is to provide quality, cost-effective international procurement services to NGO’s and UN agencies worldwide. Our team has more than 27 years of experience in arranging supply and logistics to various destinations around the world."

SRSL have ready available stocks of Core Relief Items at its warehouses in Nairobi, and with affiliated factories, for quick response to handle any emergency.

SRSL is your partner in times of natural disasters or humanitarian crisis - a partner you can rely upon to respond to your needs.

ATCO Frontec joins as new corporate partner

HLA is pleased to announce that ATCO Frontec has joined as a new corporate partner.

ATCO Frontec specializes in operational logistic support services, remote site turn-key accommodation and disaster response solutions. With a global reach, it operates across the disaster and emergency management spectrum, from mitigation and preparedness, to response and recovery, supporting the principle “Build Back Better”. Its highly trained teams provide project management expertise, procurement services and logistics, to rapidly deploy mission-critical services, incident facilities and structures.

ATCO Frontec is a valued partner in emergency response around the world. From the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan to Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria in 2017, it has supported municipalities, provincial and federal governments, as well as NATO’s global operations.

To read more about ATCO's work in disaster response, visit their excellent website, which has a number of case studies, or contact David Lampshire.