Cholera kills 19 in flood-ravaged Mozambique

2015-02-11 16:12

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Maputo - A cholera epidemic has killed 19 people in northern Mozambique following flooding that devastated the region, the government said on Wednesday.

"We have counted 1 702 cases and 19 deaths in the Nampula, Niassa and Tete provinces," Lorna Gurjal, head of the health ministry's epidemiology department told AFP.

Mozambique regularly suffers outbreaks of cholera and diarrhoea during its summer rainy season, but some drier areas are reportedly now also been hit.

In January, a state of emergency was declared after heavy rains ravaged northern and central parts of the southern African country, causing rivers to burst their banks and wrecking infrastructure.

According to the latest government figures released Tuesday, 158 people died during the flooding and an estimated 160 000 more have been adversely affected by it.

The cholera outbreak will push that tally higher.

Meanwhile, 654 schools were destroyed by the flooding, and authorities estimate $1.5m will be needed to rebuild classrooms in the hardest-hit Zambezia province alone.

Government spokesperson Mouzinho Saide said on Tuesday the situation was beginning to improve as waters receded and rainfall abated.

Electricity is also gradually being restored to the north of the country.

On Monday, ratings agency Moody's predicted that Mozambique's growth - originally estimated at 7.5% for 2015 - would be undermined by the flooding, with the mining industry concentrated in some of the worst-hit areas.

Mozambique's deadliest floods were in 2000, when an estimated 800 people were killed.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa

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