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Moz residents told to evacuate

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Mozambique flag boy

REUTERS

A child clasps a Mozambique flag in a suburb on the outskirts of the capital Maputo.

Maputo - Flooding has struck parts of southern Mozambique prompting authorities on Monday to call on people to evacuate.

The 3 Fevereiro village near the Incomati river basin, in the district of Manhica is one of the affected areas.

“We are calling on the population to leave,” said Rita Almeida a spokesperson for Mozambique's national disaster management institute.

According to the authorities, more than 6 000 people living in the Incomati basin are at risk from flooding.

Water levels along the river have reached 5.9 metres in the low-lying southern district, now the worst affected. Hundreds of people have sought refuge in emergency shelters.

Low-lying southern Mozambique is particularly vulnerable to flooding, as several rivers flow down to the coast from neighbouring countries. In 2000, the country was devastated by floods that killed more than 800.

Coastal Mozambique is home to nine international river basins, making it especially vulnerable to flooding. The country's rainy season which runs from October to April is currently at its peak.

More rain is expected in southern Mozambique and neighbouring countries in the coming days, leading to fears of further flooding.

Neighbouring South Africa in the south has also been hit by torrential rains for more than a week, but no major damage has been reported.

Sapa-AFP


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