The unfinished Quatro Estacoes (Four Seasons) hotel, whose 25 floors have towered over the Costa do Sol beach in east Maputo for over three decades, has been brought down by controlled implosion. The demolition took place at 07.00 on 31 March using 2,700 kg of explosives and costing $600,000. Twice as much again will now be spent on clearing the rubble in an operation that is expected to take five months. Once the site has been cleared it is due to become the new locations of the US embassy, although according to the Mozambican news agency AIM negotiations are still underway between the diplomatic mission and the Four Seasons Property Company, which holds the lease on the site.

Started in 1969 when Mozambique was still under Portuguese colonial rule, construction ground to a halt shortly after independence in 1975 and subsequent attempts to complete the building have all fallen through. The demolition, although rapid, will have had strong reverberations with the local population still traumatised by a series of explosions at an armoury in Maputo on 22 March, which left at least 103 people dead