Tanzania's government on Thursday announced that five people have died and seven others injured following Cyclone Hidaya sweeping through the country's south-eastern coast on the Indian Ocean.

Cyclone Hidaya landed on Tanzania’s coastline on May 4, 2024, adversely affecting Mtwara, Lindi, Coast and Morogoro regions.

About 7,027 households with 18,862 people have been affected, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in a statement he issued in parliament on Thursday.“Effects of the cyclone have been witnessed on infrastructure as some roads and bridges have been swept away by the heavy rains, with electric power poles also destroyed,” he said.

“Social service structures such as schools and health facilities have also been destroyed,” he added.

He further said Cyclone Hidaya has led to the suspension of economic activities along the coastline.

Majaliwa said Lindi-Dar es Salaam highway has been disconnected at a 200-metre section in Somanga.

“It is estimated that around 2,534 people are stranded. Some passengers and vehicles have returned to Lindi town; others have travelled through the Songea route to Dar es Salaam; while others have returned to Dar es Salaam from Somanga,” said Majaliwa.

Record rain levelsMajaliwa said the weather stations in Kilwa and Mtwara recorded 316 millimetres and 99 millimetres of rain levels respectively, which is are record levels recorded in May, as compared to 96.6 millimetres and 54 millimetres normal rainfall levels.“Under normal circumstances, the 316 millimetres of rainfall recorded in Kilwa within 36 hours is equivalent to three years' worth of rainfall for May, specifically for 2024, 2025 and 2026,” he said.

He said the government is assessing the situation, including damaged electrical infrastructure, repairing roads and constructing temporary bridges.

Majaliwa issued eight directives on disasters management to Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads), Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (Tarura), and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).

He also directed disaster management committees to ensure that aid and humanitarian assistance reach respective disaster victims.

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