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Death toll in Zimbabwe, Mozambique flooding hits at least 33

thecheers.org    2008-01-04 05:52:02    

Four more people have drowned in Zimbabwe, bringing to 31 the numbers killed in flooding caused by a month of heavy rains that have also claimed two lives in neighbouring Mozambique, according to various reports Friday.
Harare/Johannesburg (dpa) - Four more people have drowned in Zimbabwe, bringing to 31 the numbers killed in flooding caused by a month of heavy rains that have also claimed two lives in neighbouring Mozambique, according to various reports Friday.

In Zimbabwe, three people travelling in an ox-drawn cart were swept away by floodwaters in the area in northern Mashonaland West province, the state-run paper reported.

The breakdown of communications with flood-hit areas meant that the drownings, which occurred last week, were reported Friday for the first time.

Elsewhere, in Seke, south of Harare, a man drowned Tuesday while trying to herd his cattle through a swollen stream.

The deaths bring to 31 the numbers killed by flooding in low-lying areas of the north and south provoked by the heaviest rains in December in around a century.

Critical food shortages caused by political mismanagement and drought that have left around 4 million in need of food aid have been exacerbated as floodwaters swept away crops and livestock.

The situation in Zimbabwe is also having a knock-on effect in flood-prone neighbouring Mozambique.

Two people died in central Sofala province after the Pungue and Buzi rivers, which have their source in Zimbabwe, burst their banks, the district administrator Paulo Majacunene told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.

The Save river, which also rises in Zimbabwe and flows through Sofala and Inhambane provinces, also flooded, leaving over 1,000 people stranded, according to government officials.

Rescue workers in motorboats were trying to reach people who sought refuge in trees and on rooftops.

Impoverished rural dwellers in Mozambique are the worst hit by flooding during the summer rainy season, which killed some 700 people and displaced 500,000 in 2000 and 2001.

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