Maputo, 26 Feb (AIM) – Mozambique’s National Meteorology Institute (INAM) on Friday afternoon lifted the ban on shipping in the Mozambique Channel, which had been imposed as a measure of precaution against the danger posed by tropical cyclone Freddy.
The cyclone made landfall on the coast of the southern province of Inhambane on Friday, but rapidly weakened as it moved inland towards the Zimbabwean border.
Cited by Radio Mozambique, meteorologist Gelcio Manjate said that Freddy had struck the coastal district of Vilankulo with winds of 90 to 100 kilometres an hour.
But the cyclone has now dissipated and presents no further threat, although heavy rains associated with Freddy are continuing to fall in parts of the country.
The ban on shipping was intended to protect human lives at sea, but Manjate said Freddy was no longer a threat, and the winds in the Mozambique Channel are described as “weak to moderate”.
Stormy weather is expected to continue in Inhambane and the neighbouring province of Gaza, where the rains will be “moderate to strong, and locally very strong”.
A preliminary report on cyclone damage in Inhambane points to 24 classrooms and two health units destroyed or damaged in Inhassoro, Vilanculo, Govuro and Massinga districts.
Giving these figures, Candido Mapute, the southern regional director of the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGD), said the relatively minor nature of the damage was due to strong awareness campaigns on the need to observe preventive measures, including strengthening roofs.
In Inhambane, added Mapute, there are no reports of any deaths or injuries due to the cyclone. “These figures of zero deaths and zero injuries are thanks to the work we did in mobilizing households”, he said, plus the ban on movement, which forced residents to stay indoors.