03 March 2007

A flood, a storm, a small helicopter and a very large Russian cargo plane

We just got back this afternoon from another trip in Mozambique.

There are two centres of relief operation in Moz at the mo as the country is reeling from two natural disasters, the flooding along the Zambezi and Cyclone Favio which hit last week in the south.

We flew the helicopter crew back to Beira where they'd left it during the storms, and then helped reassemble it.


All the main aid organisations are involved, Oxfam, Red Cross, WFP etc, and while the heli was busy doing sling load food drops, the fixed wing aircraft was shuttling incoming international workers between the main centres. The centre for the flooding is at Caia and the one for the cyclone is at Vilanculos. Both are only about 130 miles from Beira (in opposite directions), but each is also at least a days drive away. In the aircraft this is reduced to one hour, which obviously saves huge amounts of time, and means that the logistics of getting aid to the people who need it can be accomplished far quicker. It was also encouraging to see the number of Christian Relief organisations involved such as Food for the Hungry, Humedica and Operation Blessing whom we were partnering with.

There was a huge Russian cargo plane that bought in a Norwegian Red Cross mobile hospital and doctors for Vilanculos. He flew the advance team down whilst the shipment was being trucked down.

The Ilyushin 76 with one of the many trucks than transported the 25 tons of hospital to Vilanculos.

There were 6000 buildings in Vilanculos that lost their roofs including the hospital and the prison!


Thanks

Mercy Air team