News24

Mozambique flood deaths rise to 40

2012-02-09 17:44

Maputo - Rescue workers in Mozambique have found the bodies of three more people killed in flooding after twin tropical storms ravaged the Indian Ocean coast in January, bringing the death toll to 40, an official said on Thursday.

"The death toll from cyclones Dando and Funso that struck the country in January has risen from 37 last week to 40 this week, based on the government's weekly monitoring data," government spokesman Alberto Nkutumula told AFP.

The latest victims died when their houses collapsed on them and were found as emergency teams removed debris in the central province of Zambezia, the worst hit with 25 deaths.

The government estimates 119 000 people in the centre and south have been affected by the storms, which brought torrential rains, winds of 170km per hour and flooding that destroyed 247 000 acres of crops as well as bridges and roads.

The World Food Programme is giving emergency food aid to more than 80 000 people hit by the floods.

Nkutumula warned the situation could deteriorate further as the rainy season continues. The weather forecast for the rest of February and March is for normal to above-normal rainfall for much of the country.

Officials have had to partially open a floodgate on the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam, causing the Zambezi River to rise above flood alert level in some lowland areas.