A total of 20 000 houses have been destroyed and 130 000 people displaced in Mozambique due to tropical cyclone Dineo, the country’s national emergency operations centre (CENOE) said on Thursday.
It said in a statement that 105 schools, 49 hospitals, and 52 other public buildings had also been destroyed.
The cyclone reached South Africa on Thursday, directly affecting parts of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo.
Storms are expected to continue until Saturday evening.
The department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs said up to 200mm of rain in 24 hours and wind speeds of just below 100km/h could be expected.
“The likely impact is widespread flooding that could result in damage to roads and bridges, thus cutting off communities, displace others and straining the emergency services,” the department said in a statement.
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The department encouraged parents, caregivers and guardians to ensure the safety of their children. It warned people not to cross flooded roads, bridges, and rivers. Six centimetres of fast-moving flood water could knock a person off their feet.
It called on people to abandon their homes immediately if an evacuation was recommended.
Disaster management teams were on standby.
“We are encouraged by the fact that other provinces like Gauteng, Free State, Western Cape and North West pledged [to] assist the affected provinces,” the department said.