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This Month in Climate History

Over the course of late February and early March, 2000, five straight weeks of rain pummeled the African country of Mozambique. The worst flood the country had seen for 50 years ensued, rendering nearly 50,000 people homeless and killing 800. All in all, a full quarter of the total population of Mozambique was affected by the flooding, significantly impacting not only those displaced but the overall economy of the country. Agricultural land was lost, and basic infrastructure for services like sanitation and transportation were damaged, leading to a long and difficult recovery.

While the 2000 Mozambique flood hasn't specifically been linked to climate change impacts, it's worth noting that the three worst floods in Mozambique's history have all occurred since the start of the 21st century. Mozambique, as a coastal country, was already prone to a variety of dangerous natural disasters. With the impacts of climate change, those disasters have only gotten worse, and have affected the livelihood of 70% of Mozambicans. Though it might seem paradoxical, climate change can lead to increased rainfall and increased drought, and Mozambique has seen the impacts of both. These recurring disasters make it harder and harder to recover and grow a stable economy for a country that's already behind more than 100 other countries in GDP.


1. Floods take a Serious Economic Toll, Africa Recovery (Archived)

2. Mozambique Floods Situation Report 29 Feb 2000, UNICEF USA

3. Mozambique: Recovery from Recurrent Floods, 2000-2013, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery

4. Climate Change Threatens Livelihood of 70% in Mozambique: WFP, DownToEarth

5. How can Climate Change Affect Natural Disasters?, US Geological Survey

6. Mozambique Economy Ranking: By GDP and 60 Other Factors, Georank


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