Some 70,000 people in southern Mozambique have been displaced by heavy flooding on the Limpopo valley while power exports to South Africa have also been cut in half following the damage on power lines, APA observed on Friday.
Mozambique has declared a red alert for the south and central regions after experiencing the heaviest rainfall since devastating floods killed 700 people in 2000.
Media reports say in some places current water levels are higher than they were during that disaster.
Television footage has shown people sleeping in the open and many by the roadside, local media as the Limpopo River raged through the southern town of Chokwe.
The record flood levels submerged houses in some places, emergency officials said.
Nine rivers in six water systems were still above disaster levels on Thursday. The waters were predicted to drop in Chokwe, but rise at the Limpopo River mouth in Xai-Xai on the Indian Ocean.
Helicopters would start rescuing people stranded on rooftops from Friday, said the country’s international humanitarian head Lola Castro.
Meanwhile convoys of cars packed with people’s belongings were leaving Xai-Xai, capital of southern province of Gaza, as the city braced for the deluge.
Flood waters could hit the coast as early as Friday night and the authorities earlier issued a 48-hour evacuation order.
Onlookers crowded the banks of the swollen Limpopo River watching the evacuations. The authorities say most people heeded the warning to move to higher ground.
According to reports, aid agencies are sending trucks with food and emergency supplies to emergency shelters near Chokwe, where people are still arriving on foot or the back of trucks.
Most are women, children and the elderly. So far very little food has reached them since they fled their homes early Tuesday.
Locals were slow to evacuate the town, which complicated humanitarian programs, said Castro.
Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 184th out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index.
Source African Press Agency
African News from NetNewsPublisher.com