[QODLink]
Africa
Mozambique faces flood fury
At least six people die and 70,000 others are displaced following heavy rains.
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2008 09:52 GMT
Large parts of central Mozambique remain
under water [EPA]
Floods in central Mozambique have killed at least six people besides displacing 70,000 others from their homes.
 
Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the area around the Zambezi River as rising waters destroyed bridges and roads.
The situation is expected to worsen until mid-February, the National Institute of Natural Disaster Management (INGC) said on Monday.

Joao Ribeiro, INGC's deputy director, said: "The floods have for now claimed several lives, according to an official toll."
On Sunday, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) gave a death toll of 50, a figure which Ribeiro said was overestimated.

In November, Mozambique had envisaged a heavy downpour during the current rainy season and declared a red alert on January 3 to warn its population, which has so far helped to reduce the number of victims.

In video

Struggling after the floods

More than 70,000 people have been resettled, particularly in schools and other public buildings.

The southern African country is gearing up to evacuate more than 200,000 people.

Kalay Maistry, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in a resettlement camp in Caia, says that malaria and water borne diseases are a concern.

 

“Food security is another [concern]. Many brought what they could – some maize and dried fish – but with much of their farms underwater nobody here is sure where they will be getting a meal from in the coming weeks.”

Regional warning

In Geneva, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that much of southern Africa faces potentially disastrous flooding, while the situation in Mozambique was particularly worrying.

Heavy rains that started in parts of Zimbabwe in December resulted in flooding, which was now spreading to Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia.

The large Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, off the Mozambican coast, has also been affected.

Peter Rees, head of the IFRC's operations support department, said: "The weather forecast for the next seven days is not good with more rain expected, which could last until April.

"If this happens, southern Africa will certainly face major flooding with potentially catastrophic consequences," he said.

Since November, the heavy downpour has led to a sharp rise in the Zambezi, Pongue, Buzi and Save rivers.

Mozambique has more recently been recovering from a cyclone that hit the country in February 2007.

The local Red Cross has sent emergency supplies to affected regions and the IFRC released one million Swiss francs ($980,000) to support the aid process on Friday.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.