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Widespread destruction, 41 people dead after heavy rains hit Angola

widespread-destruction-41-people-dead-after-heavy-rains-hit-angola

Torrential rains affecting Angola since January 3, 2020, caused widespread destruction and left at least 41 people dead. According to Interior Minister Eugenio Laborinho, capital city Luanda is among the worst-hit areas. The event follows severe regional drought which affected 1.7 million people, 2.2 million head of cattle, and 1.2 million goats and sheep.​

In remarks to the press during this year's first meeting of the National Civil Protection Commission held on January 9, the minister stated that the country has been experiencing heavy downpour for several days that have affected infrastructure, crops, and claimed lives of many people.

Furthermore, power and water supply were disrupted, and numerous roads cut off.

The minister added that flood damage was worst in the provinces of capital Luanda, Bie, Benguela, Huambo, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Lunda Sul, and Norte, Malange, Namibe, Uige, and Zaire.

About 2 500 families have been affected across the country. 378 homes were destroyed, and 975 houses inundated including those across the municipalities of Talatona, Viana, and Cazenga.

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Moreover, 12 churches and 4 bridges were destroyed, including one bridge in Nova Urbanização ward, Cacuaco Municipality which in imminent danger of collapse.

On Sunday, January 5, floods were reported across Cuanza Sul province after a 12-hour heavy downpour. One person was injured, while more than 200 establishments sustained damage, including a hospital. 200 houses were affected in the city of Sumbe.

In the early hours of Monday, January 6, violent downpour struck 12 out of 18 provinces and lasted into the late afternoon, Laborinho stated. 

Heavy rain is expected to affect most of Angola over Friday, January 10 and in the coming days and weeks.

According to the government, the country is preparing to adopt a new approach in the civil protection segment, with the improvement of the articulation between the different sectors that make up the National Civil Protection Commission, a mechanism that aims at fighting calamities.

Laborinho stressed that the new approach will have as its primacy the training of cadres in the sector.

Also in the context of this process, he said that the Civil Protection Basic Law, the National and Provincial Plan for Disaster Preparedness, Contingency, Response and Recovery are being updated.

He referred to the consequences of the drought that hit Cunene, Huila, Namibe and Cuando Cubango provinces, stressing that the phenomenon affected 1.7 million people, 2.2 million head of cattle, and 1.2 million goats and sheep.

Featured image credit: Teresa Victor/YouTube

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