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Southern Africa floods kill 40


Blantyre : Floods in southern Africa have killed about 40 people in a growing humanitarian crisis that has engulfed the region and brought renewed appeals for Western financial help, Reuters reported.

Heavy rains have caused rivers in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi to burst, killing three people in Malawi since Friday and forcing hundreds of others to flee their homes.

Seven people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in Mozambique in the last two weeks, the national relief agency says. U.N. agencies say three have been killed in Zambia.

In Zimbabwe, state media have reported 27 people have been killed by floods since mid-December but relief officials have not confirmed the figure. Some victims in the region were killed by crocodiles.

In Malawi, floods swept away livestock and inundated agricultural land.

“Crops and livestock have either been destroyed or displaced and people seeking refuge are at risk of drowning as most rivers are swollen,” Lowford Palani, the acting commissioner in Malawi’s flooded Chikwawa district, told Reuters on Thursday.

Palani said more than 200 people in 24 villages in the southern district, which has experienced food shortages in the past as a result of floods, had been displaced since last week when heavy rains caused the Shire and other rivers to overflow.