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Heavy Floods Kill 34 in Mozambique

Maputo, January 17 (RHC)-- Heavy floods in southeast African country of Mozambique have killed at least 34 people amid efforts by rescue workers to reach people stranded on rooftops and over the trees. The figure, reported by local officials and press reports, could be even higher, since no information was yet available from all the areas that have been cut off by the flooding, according to Maria Luciano of the country's National Institute of Disaster Management.

Luciano added that 16 people had been killed in the central province of Zambezia since heavy rain storms triggered the floods over the last weekend. Flooding is believed to have impacted an estimated number of 200,000 residents in the province, where aid helicopters were dropping food and relief supplies in isolated regions.

In northern regions of the country, meanwhile, the flooding also affected Niassa Province, where 18 more people were reported killed, a local radio station, Radio Mocambique, reported. Trains between Niassa and neighboring Malawi, where flooding has also killed 48 people so far, were no longer operational.

South Africa has dispatched a team of soldiers and rescue workers to Zambezia in a bid to help with relief efforts. Meanwhile, Malawi Vice President Saul Chilima announced that rescue workers had taken into safety more than 800 flood victims in Nsanje and Chikwawa districts in the south of the country. He added that rising water levels were impeding efforts by army helicopters to reach a number of areas.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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