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Over 90 perish as overcrowded ferry sinks off Mozambique coast

Over 90 perish as overcrowded ferry sinks off Mozambique coast
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 8, 2024 4:42 AM

Over 90 people die in an overcrowded improvised ferry off the northern coast of Mozambique, as the boat was overloaded and unable to carry passengers

Local officials said on Sunday that more than ninety people perished tragically after an overcrowded improvised ferry collapsed to the depths off the northern coast of Mozambique.

Authorities said that the modified fishing boat, which carried about 130 people, ran afoul of the law while attempting to make its way to an island in Nampula province.

The secretary of state for Nampula, Jaime Neto, said somberly, “The boat ended up sinking because it was overloaded and unable to carry passengers. Ninety-one persons lost their life.” Neto added that several children were among the victims.

Only five survivors have been found so far, despite the heroic efforts of rescue crews; future search and rescue operations are hampered by the unfavorable sea conditions.

According to Neto, the catalyst for this dangerous journey was a fear brought on by false information about cholera epidemics on the mainland. Mozambique has been severely affected by the crisis, with approximately 15,000 instances of waterborne sickness documented and 32 fatalities since October. Nampula has been particularly hard hit, accounting for one-third of all reported cases.

The miseries of the area have been made worse by the flood of displaced people that Nampula has been witnessing as a result of a wave of terrorist attacks in the nearby province of Cabo Delgado.

A team of investigators has been assembled to determine the reasons behind this marine accident, explained Neto, adding that two of the five survivors are receiving medical attention at the moment.

The doomed ship was traveling to the ancient island of Mozambique, which is well-known for its rich history. Mozambique’s rich history is reflected in the island that was once the capital of Portuguese East Africa and a major commercial destination for Arab merchants traveling to India.

A bridge built in the 1960s connects the fortified city on the island to the mainland, which is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With a population of over 30 million, Mozambique is a country surrounded by Tanzania and South Africa and located along the Indian Ocean. However, the nation has many difficulties, such as the curse of poverty and the threat of frequent cyclones, in spite of its breathtaking natural surroundings and rich cultural heritage.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:33 PM