Media Alert: Red Cross deploys to at-risk communities as Cyclone Dineo nears Mozambique

The Mozambique Red Cross has activated preparedness plans in anticipation of Cyclone Dineo, dispatching 350 volunteers and emergency supplies to communities in the its path. Dineo is expected to make landfall later today with hurricane-force winds and heavy rain.

The volunteers have been alerting communities in the southern provinces of Gaza and Inhambane and directing them to shelters, while pre-positioning emergency supplies.

Jamie Le Sueur, the IFRC’s Disaster Management Coordinator for southern Africa says: We’re concerned about extensive flooding, given that many of the districts likely to be hit have been inundated by above normal rainfall since early January and rivers in some areas are already at flood level.rdquo;

An advisory has also been issued for a potential storm surge, which could threaten thousands of people in coastal communities.

Ernestina Jorge Jama, the Secretary General of the Mozambique Red Cross says: The storm and the flooding present a real risk of damaged and contaminated water sources, so a priority will be to disinfect and treat water and make sure people are not drinking dirty water and getting sick.

These communities are already extremely vulnerable due to the impacts of prolonged drought.rdquo;

After Mozambique, the cyclone is expected to move westward toward South Africa, Zimbabwe and then Botswana, where Red Cross teams are making contingency plans.

Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).