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Deadly floods hit southern Africa Severe flooding in Zimbabwe and Zambia has killed at least 21 people and left thousands homeless in the past month, and threatens to affect farming. In Mozambique, the authorities have declared a red alert, with rivers rising above "critical" levels. The rains, which began in early December, have washed away homes and livestock throughout the area. A spokesman for the Red Cross has said that floods could lead to an increase in malaria and outbreaks of cholera. More than 1,000 families, mainly in Zimbabwe's Mashonaland Central Province, have had homes and livestock washed away by the rains which began in early December, the UN news agency IRIN News reports Thousands of homes in the Epworth informal settlement outside the capital, Harare, have collapsed as a result of the rains. Zimbabwe's Agricultural Technical and Extension Service warned that the rains were adversely affecting farming, with most crops showing signs of nitrogen deficiency, the state-run Herald newspaper reported. Red alert In Zambia's Southern Province, the Magoye River burst its banks, flooding homes and farmland and displacing about 1,000 families, according to IRIN News. "Aware that the situation may get worse before the end of the rainy season, we have decided to declare a red alert," Mozambique's Minister of State Administration Lucas Chomera said, AP news agency reports. He said the Zambezi, the Pungue, the Buzi and the Save rivers were all above critical level, and the situation was getting worse as the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi was forced to discharge larger volumes of water. The minister said about 13,000 people had been evacuated from critical areas and moved to higher ground or to government accommodation centres. The heavy rain throughout the region has been attributed to the climate phenomenon known as La Nina. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/7171379.stm Published: 2008/01/04 11:49:19 GMT © BBC MMVIII Friday 4 January 2008
Zambezi floods expected to worsen More storms are forecast in areas around the Zambezi valley, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by flooding. Across the region the heaviest rains for almost a decade are forcing people to flee their homes, even as they try to recover from last year's floods. The authorities in Mozambique are preparing to help up to 200,000 people. Aid workers say the situation is getting worse, and meteorologists have forecast more storms for Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. Authorities say that over the weekend they will have to significantly increase the flow from the huge Cohara Bassa dam in western Mozambique to avoid the risk that it bursts It is only the beginning of the rainy season but the Zambezi is already well over six metres (20ft) deep - rapidly approaching the 7.6 metre (25ft) level that it reached during disastrous floods in 2000...... Across northern Zimbabwe, southern Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, relentless rain has waterlogged fields, destroyed fields and washed out roads and villages...... A further 14,000 people will be evacuated from the northern bank of the Zambezi on Saturday as water levels keep rising...... Some 27,000 people face food shortages in the affected areas....... In low-lying areas of Zimbabwe, flooding has destroyed homes, livestock and infrastructure, aid agencies report. Heavy floods have also destroyed homes and crops, displacing thousands of people in southern and central Malawi. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/7184431.stm Published: 2008/01/12 00:12:53 GMT © BBC MMVIII Saturday 12 January 2008
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