PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and disaster communications organization Télécoms Sans Frontières have received official recognition from the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) for their combined and ongoing mission to provide critical communications services in support of relief efforts following two tropical cyclones which devastated the southern African country recently.
Cyclone Idai earlier made landfall near Mozambique’s fourth largest city of Beira, tearing through Mozambique’s coastal region and bringing hurricane-force winds, heavy rains and flooding to the provinces of Zambezia, Sofala, Manica and Tete. More than 1,000 people lost their lives as a result of Idai and thousands more have been injured or displaced.
The cyclone also devastated the region’s electricity and communications infrastructure, frustrating disaster response teams that require effective communications in order to coordinate emergency services and relief efforts. Beira city itself suffered extensive damage, with almost 80% of the economic infrastructure destroyed.
One month later, Mozambique was struck by yet another tropical cyclone, Kenneth, resulting in the deaths of more than 40 people, displacing a further 21,000, and again damaging infrastructure critical for rescue and relief efforts.