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150,000 displaced by Mozambique floods: UN

Ten year old Mercia Antonio (L) poses with her pet rabbit she managed to escape with at roadside leading to the town for humanitarian assistance after leaving with her family the town of Chokwe in southern Mozambique, on January 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JINTY JACKSON

MAPUTO: Intense flooding in southern Mozambique has displaced at least 150,000 people, the United Nations said on Monday, warning that figure could yet rise further.

"The official figure is 150,000 people displaced in Gaza province," United Nations spokeswoman Patricia Nakell told AFP.

A flood surge devastated large swathes of the low-lying southern province last Wednesday provoking a mass exodus to higher ground.

But authorities still do not know how many people are trapped in remote areas where emergency teams are struggling to gain access.

The flooding has killed at least 40 people and with more heavy rain predicted is expected to spread further.

Aid agencies and government emergency services have set up scores of temporary camps in the area where flood victims are being fed and housed in tents.

Flood waters are still on the rise further down the Limpopo river around the coastal town of Xai Xai.

"Water levels are still rising there so the situation is fluid," Nakell said.

Provincial authorities have asked affected families to move of their own accord but have warned that force may be used to remove those who refuse.

 

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