A picture taken on January 15, 2013 shows residents standing near a house washed away by torrential rainfalls in Maputo on January 15, 2013. Mozambique authorities raced to evacuate tens of thousands of residents from the flood-drenched south of the country on January 23, 2013 before a fresh swell of water hits. The first phase of the emergency operation kicked into gear, with teams using 10 rescue boats to move 30,000 people from the worst-hit areas around the district of Chokwe. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

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