68 dead as Mozambique floods spread

2013-02-02 09:17

Maputo – The worst flooding in more than a decade in Mozambique has killed nearly 70 people as a fresh deluge in the north took its toll, the United Nations said.

“Based on government figures received, the number of deaths since January 12 is 68,” UN spokeswoman Patricia Nakell told AFP.

Seven flood-related deaths were recorded yesterday alone, she said.

Severe downpours in the southern African nation and neighbouring countries Zimbabwe and South Africa have swelled rivers.

Water levels are comparable to flooding disasters in 2000, which left around 800 dead.

The deluge in southern province Gaza left 41 dead last week. Now flash floods in the central Zambezia and northern Nampula provinces have seen the death toll rise.

Close to 4 000 people had sought refuge in state-run emergency camps in the north after their homes collapsed in heavy rain or were swept away.

The floods have affected over 180 000 people in Mozambique, according to Nakell, though other UN sources put the figure at 250 000.

Aid agencies are keeping close watch as heavy showers continue in some areas.

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