Johannesburg - Divers and health professionals have been sent to Mozambique to assist in flood-stricken areas, the SA National Defence Force said in a statement on Friday.

“The capabilities deployed include... Navy divers, health professionals... two Oryx helicopters and a C130 aircraft from the SA Air Force,” said Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga in a statement.

“The Maritime Reaction Squadron from the SA Navy is on standby.”

Agence France-Presse reported that floods in southern Mozambique displaced up to 70 000 people this week.

The south and centre of the country was placed on red alert after experiencing the heaviest rainfall since devastating floods killed about 800 people in 2000.

AFP said that in some places current water levels were higher than they were during that disaster. - Sapa