Fragments of roof‚ twisted corrugated iron‚ trees snapped in half and stranded dolphins were among the sights that greeted residents in parts of Mozambique on Thursday after an overnight pummelling from Cyclone Dineo.
Property owners were left with the hard work of cleaning up debris in and around Inhambane.
Updates about the damage caused overnight trickled in due to communication disruptions caused by the storm.
Bonito Bay holiday resort owner Russel Edmunds posted pictures on Facebook of downed trees and a bakkie parked under a collapsed thatched roof in Morrungulo.
He said roads were closed and water towers had been blown down.
“Fortunately my staff are good builders… most of the infrastructure at Bonito Bay is still intact… wish I could say the same for the trees. We suffered some damage but it could have been a lot worse… weeks of cleaning up lie ahead… roads are blocked‚ water tower was blown over. Thanks to the guys who stuck it out and helped prepare for what was to come‚” he posted.
Eight dolphins‚ including two juveniles‚ died in Inhassoro early on Thursday. Derek Flaxman of Cashew-Bay Lodge shared a video of a small rescue party splashing water on the beached animals.
“I went to put our beach light on at about 01:30 and I heard a noise. I didn’t know what it was and went down to the beach. A pod of 16 dolphins‚ including two babies‚ were stranded on the beach‚” he said.
Flaxman and his wife Wendy could not move the creatures back to sea alone. “We got a team of about six people together and we got some tarpaulins and rolled the dolphins back to sea‚ taking them into chest-high water.
Unfortunately they were so disoriented they kept swimming back on to the beach‚” he said.
Flaxman and his team kept redirecting the dolphins until they made their way back out to sea. Eight of the stranded dolphins died. “They are beautiful animals. We basically play with the dolphins when we go out to sea. I can only expect it’s the rough seas and cyclone that disoriented them.”
Inhassoro did not suffer major damage in the wake of Cyclone Dineo‚ which has now been downgraded to a tropical depression‚ apart from some beach erosion‚ Flaxman said. The area had heavy rainfall throughout Wednesday night.
Brian Jefferies‚ of Jeff’s Palm Resort‚ in Praia de Jangamo‚ Inhambane province‚ was also hit by the storm. “The water has now breached our dive centre and restaurant… we’ll see what happens there. Some other places had water breaches earlier‚” he said on Wednesday night.
He was unable to post a detailed Facebook update on Thursday due to communication problems. All he wrote was: “No signal….lot of damage!!!!!!!”
Aid organisation Gift of the Givers has deployed a team of aid workers to the affected region in Mozambique. They are on standby.
“We have had very little contact with our team there so far‚ due to cellphone connection issues resulting from the storm‚” said spokesperson Bader Kazi.
Photographer and film maker Steven Clarey posted video footage on twitter from the stairwell of a hotel at Inhambane where parts of the roof were blown off.
“Footage from Inhambane‚ Mozambique this evening. Cyclone Dineo hitting our hotel. All ok‚ in stairwell! #Dineo #Cyclone #cycloneDineo”