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    Mozambique-Climate Change-Disaster

    Rain-soaked Mozambique braces for floods

    APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

    The Zambezi Regional Water Board (ARA-Zambeze) in central Mozambique has warned people living in parts of the country's resource-rich western Tete province to abandon flood-prone areas.

    An ARA Zambezi statement emailed to APA on Thursday says the districts of Mutarara, Doa and Zumbo could be hit by heavy flooding later in the rainy season.

    "Although the main rivers in Tete province, notably the Zambezi itself have not yet reached flood alert levels, people living in dangerous areas should move now, to avoid possible deaths later on in the rainy season" the statement warns.

    The agency also warns that heavy rains from Zimbabwe and Zambia are still pounding Mozambique and the crisis is deepening hence people should avoid crossing rivers, which have been swollen in the recent torrents and should not take shelter under trees due to the danger of lightning strikes.

    Heavy downpours are common in the region in the annual rainy season, which runs generally from November to April, but the relentless rain is unusual and has caught officials off guard.

    In Sofala province, a rise in the level of the Metuchira river has submerged a bridge and cut off communication between the two banks.

    This has isolated parts of Nhamatanda and Gorongosa districts from the rest of the country, affecting about 25,000 people.

    The Nhamatanda district administrator, Boavida Manuel said rains had been falling heavily in the area since Sunday.

    The official seven canoes and one motor boat owned by the Mozambican Red Cross have been mobilised to allow people to cross the river.

    The national relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute is also putting a boat on the river.

    The bridge over the Metuchira is often submerged during the rainy season.

    The flooding has put pressure on aid agencies to provide shelter, sanitation and water.

    It has also heightened fears of cholera and malaria in the country of over 23 million where the average life expectancy at birth is a little over 40 years.


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