Floods kill 71 in Mozambique

Houses in the town of Chokwe some 210 km north of Maputo, Mozambique, on March 16, 2000, after heavy flooding (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen) (AFP/File)

Maputo (AFP) - The death toll from flooding in parts of Mozambique has risen to 71, the country's disaster management services said Monday.

"From the data collected up to last night (Sunday), the provisional toll of victims has risen to 71 since January 12," National Institute of Disaster Management spokeswoman Rita Almeida told AFP.

Most of those killed were from Zambezia province in the centre of the southern African country.

"About 80,000 people have been affected by the floods in the centre and north of the country, according to information we have collected until now," she said.

Of those, 30,000 people are being accommodated in 43 shelters.

Almeida said emergency services remained on high alert, with more rain expected in the coming week: "The situation is worrying."

Meteorologist Jose Savanguani of the National Meteorological Institute told AFP that the coming week would see less rain in the centre of the country, "but moderate to heavy rains will continue in the north."

Across the border in Malawi, 176 people have been killed and 200,000 displaced by floods in what President Peter Mutharika has termed a "national tragedy".

Mozambique's deadliest floods were in 2000 when an estimated 800 people were killed.