23 March 2007

Follow-up on Explosions

The explosions last night were a big topic of discussion at the university this morning. Several of the windows had been shattered and glass was strewn on the floor. Several people, my own age, that I spoke to said that it reminded them of when they were children. Their first thought was, "Is the city under attack?"

At last count there were 72 confirmed dead and more than 200 injured. Although the official news story reported differently. I assume that the numbers will change as they dig their way out of the mess. This morning people were still being dug out of the rubble - sans arms, legs, and in some cases, heads. Houses surround the airport, both cement block and reed constructions. So it is not surprising that people are dead. But it is sad.

There is still at column of smoke on the horizon at 12 noon today.

This is the statement issued by the US Embassy to Mozambique:

"The U.S. Embassy is sending this Warden Message to advise the American community about the current situation following explosions that occurred in Maputo on Thursday March 22.

Please be advised that the Maputo airport will remain closed until further notice. Additionally, please be alert when traveling anywhere around the city or on the outskirts.

The possibility exists that unexploded ordinance could be present in the city. If you receive any information regarding unexploded ordinance, the Mozambican government would like you to contact them on a special phone line established for this purpose: 84 250 4920. Please also contact the U.S. Embassy with information about unexploded ordinance on phone line: 21 49 0723.

Also, please contact the Consul directly is you have any information about injured Americans: 82 300 0835."

What does this mean? Were the explosions at a munitions storage facility or what? Are there multiple storage facilities around the city that I need to worry about? What about the military base 2 blocks away? Nicely vague, but ultimately unhelpful. I guess I'll just go back to my business and hope for the best.

One last question though, it has been hotter than yesterday in the past few months, so what happened yesterday to trigger the explosions?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the eyewitness account. Glad to see that you are OK.