Floods in Mozambique prompt UNOSAT activation

24 January 2013, Geneva, Switzerland - Mozambique is being affected by flooding that may match in intensity the catastrophic emergency in 2000 that cost the life of 800 people and brought havoc and loss to the country. UNOSAT mobilized its Humanitarian Rapid Mapping service in response to the first request coming from UNICEF. On 21 January, UNOSAT requested also the assistance of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.

On 22 January the Disaster Management Coordination Council of the country (CCGC) declared a Red Alert during an extraordinary meeting. On the same day, according to UN sources, flooding in the Gaza Province left 5 people dead and an estimated additional 30,000 people in need of evacuation. A preliminary rapid assessment made public by UNOSAT on 23 January confirmed that Chowke and Guija districts are badly affected. Media sources talk already of 70,000 people displaced and costly interruptions of power exports to energy-hungry neighbour, South Africa. The southern provinces of Gaza and Maputo appear to be the worst affected. The storm reached as far as Kruger National Park, in South Africa, where tourists had to be evacuated.

UNOSAT experts are using Space Charter data to produce new updates over the area as flooding unfolds. UNOSAT will continue to monitor the area and respond to specific requests from UN and national agencies as relief operations unfold on the ground.

All UNOSAT maps over Mozambique can be found on the UNOSAT website.


Image: the rain accumulation map elaborated by UNOSAT analysts, showing a peak in the areas affected by the floods.