Tropical Storm Dando Hits Mozambique (UPDATE: 1/28/13)

1/28/13 UPDATE:  As of today, at least 150,000 people have been displaced, according to the United Nations and that count is expected to increase as rains continue making flooding toward the north a threat. 

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UPDATE: The International Red Cross and the Mozambican Government are scrambling to provide food and shelter to the tens of thousands of displaced people affected by the flooding from the storm earlier this week.

Tropical Storm Dando hit southern Mozambique this week - the worst storm to impact the country since 1984, according to officials. With wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour and almost 8 inches of rain, the storm has left mass destruction and flooding in its wake.  Five people have died and more than 4,000 are without shelter.  And to make matters worse, another severe storm is also on the horizon.

In Mozambique's Gaza Province, Dando flooded more than 3,700 homes, and in the capital city Maputo, more than 200 homes were inundated. In addition, more than 6,000 cashew trees, producing one of Mozambique's staple crops, were destroyed. In three other southern provinces nearly 300 classrooms had their rooftops ripped off by the wind.

One of the Planet Aid-supported teacher training colleges in Gaza (EPF Gaza) was evacuated, but as yet has not been hit by the floodwaters. However, villages nearby the college are being  inundated.  "Chokwé (a village) 15 km away has been totally under water," says Birgit Holm, Director of ADPP Mozambique.

The last time Mozambique experienced a weather event of this magnitude more than 700 people died and more than 500,000 were displaced.