40 dead in Mozambique rainy season

(iStock)
(iStock)

Maputo - At least 40 people have been killed and 76,000 others affected by floods and storms since Mozambique's rainy season started in October, officials said on Friday, warning of further heavy rainfall.

The government declared a nationwide alert this week, Paulo Tomas, spokesperson for the Institute of Management of Natural Disasters (INGC), told AFP.

"18 000 families have been affected," Tomas said, adding that 8 000 houses had been destroyed.

The worst affected areas have been southern regions of the country and the capital Maputo, where a shelter for 140 displaced families was opened this month.

The death toll included 15 people killed in the city during a major storm in October, when at least 166 people were injured.

The government forecast that $11.3m of emergency funds would be needed to help victims.

"We're talking about a rainy season that's still going on. So there may be continuing damage," Deputy Minister of State Administration Roque Silva said on Friday, according to the Mozambican news agency AIM.

Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, suffers regular flooding during the annual rainy season between October and March.

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