More than 90 killed as boat sinks off Mozambique coast

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  More than 90 people have died after a boat capsized off Mozambique’s northern coast, authorities say.

Those aboard the boat were fleeing a cholera outbreak and were travelling from Lunga to Mozambique Island, off the coast of Nampula, local media reported.

The fishing boat could accommodate a maximum of 100 people, however there were around 130 people on board, a representative of the island administration told the STV television station.

“Because the boat was overcrowded and unsuited to carry passengers it ended up sinking … There are 91 people who lost their lives,” said Nampula’s secretary of state Jaime Neto.

The AIM news agency, citing a representative of the maritime authority, reported that the ship was probably wrecked when it was hit by high waves.

Rescuers had found five survivors and were searching for more, but sea conditions were making the operation difficult.

Mozambique is currently affected by the largest cholera outbreak of the last 25 years, according to UN’s children’s relief organisation UNICEF. Since the outbreak began in September 2022, more than 37,000 cases have been reported.

Mozambique, which has a long Indian Ocean coastline and borders South Africa, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, was a Portuguese colony until independence in 1975.

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