Mozambican tourist hub flooded

2013-01-27 09:29
Floods

Floods

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Macia - Floodwaters that have inundated southern Mozambique on Saturday reached the tourist hub of Xai-Xai, forcing the closure of a major north-south road, a United Nations official said.

The coastal city of Xai-Xai is located on the Limpopo river, whose swollen waters have flooded parts of the major traffic artery, UN representative Lola Castro told AFP, adding that it was unclear for now how many residents had been displaced by the deluge.

"They closed off the road 4km" before the inundated area, she said. "The river is eroding the road."

Authorities were racing to repair damaged sections of the crucial link connecting the southern capital Maputo to the north of the impoverished country.

Several districts of Xai-Xai were swamped on Saturday but the flooding had not yet reached the dramatic level seen in the town of Chokwe, further upstream in the same Gaza province.

The floodwaters in Xai-Xai hampered access for emergency services, forcing humanitarian agencies to deliver aid from the port of Beira, about 800 kilometres away, Castro said.

"We are bringing everything from Beira. It won't arrive until tomorrow (Sunday)," she added.

The floods in Mozambique, prompted by days of torrential rainfall, have killed at least 36 people in recent days and displaced nearly 70 000, according to the United Nations in Mozambique on Friday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa  |  floods
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