Authorities Sound Flood Warning Along The Zambezi

MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - Mozambican foreign minister Leonardo Simao Wednesday warned that regions downstream of the Cahora Bassa dam in the western province of Tete faced the risk of flooding, if heavy rains continue.
"There can be floods on the Zambezi river", said Simao, adding that the dam "is unable to hold the waters" further.

Faced with further flooding are districts in the provinces of Tete, Manica, Sofala and Zambezia that are on the banks of the Zambezi, he said, advising the population to take precautions to avoid being caught off guard.

The level of the waters in the Zambezi has been rising owing to heavy rains in Tete and in neighbouring Malawi.

Meanwhile, the main north-south road has been cut yet again, this time at two points between the port city of Beira and the Save river, thus thwarting overland relief operations for victims of the February floods in the Save valley.

Abby Spring of the United Nations World Food Programme told the Mozambican news agency that two trucks carrying foodstuffs, and a bus transporting 30 passengers had been stuck in the mud and passengers had to be airlifted.

Although the breaks would hamper relief operations in central Mozambique it would still be possible to deliver goods by air, she said.

Spring said "we have 109 tonnes of foodstuffs in the Save river basin for the vulnerable population for the next 10 days."

Currently, an area of concern for the organisation is the Tete locality of Zobue, on the border with Malawi, said Spring.

"In Zobue there are 5,000 stranded people who are in need of foodstuffs, medicines and tents," she said.

The organisation had used boats on the Zambezi and then trucks to reach the beleaguered area, but because "the river levels are high and the current pretty strong, we'll face serious problems in that region", Spring added.

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