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08/04/24 | 2:24 pm

Mozambique: Boat with passengers fleeing cholera outbreak capsizes; 94 dead, 26 missing

In a tragic incident off the northern coast of Mozambique, at least 94 people, including children, lost their lives, and 26 were reported missing after a ferry boat capsized, an official from the country’s Maritime Transport Institute (INTRASMAR) said. The vessel involved was an overloaded fishing boat, not authorized for passenger transport.

Lourenco Machado, an administrator at INSTRASMAR, revealed on state television that the boat was ferrying people from Lunga in Nampula province to Mozambique Island. Initial reports suggested that the boat was struck by a tidal wave.

A local maritime administrator mentioned that the passengers were fleeing a cholera outbreak. Jaime Neto, the secretary of state for Nampula province, confirmed this, stating that the passengers were fleeing from cholera-affected areas.

“Because the boat was overcrowded and unsuited to carry passengers, it ended up sinking,” he said.

Videos circulating on social media depicted the heartbreaking scene of bodies strewn across a beach, with some individuals carrying the lifeless bodies of children. The authenticity of these videos could not be independently verified at the time of reporting.

Mozambique and several other countries in Southern Africa have been grappling with cholera outbreaks since the previous year, adding to the challenges faced by communities in the region.

(With Reuters inputs)

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