Mozambique

Moz in ruins, aid needed urgently

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Originally published
OWN CORRESPONDENT, Maputo - Tuesday 1.00pm.

AID agencies say humanitarian aid is needed urgently to save thousands of Mozambicans stranded without food and housing in the wake of torrential flooding and the devastation caused by Cyclone Eline.

According to the Red Cross, as many as 800 000 people are at risk from flood-related outbreaks of disease.

At least 69 Mozambicans have now been killed since the nset of flooding a few weeks ago and over 200 000 others have been displaced.

The South African Air Force has sent five helicopters and two airplanes to help distribute supplies, while the French air force has contributed a cargo plane.

Parts of southern Mozambique remain submerged and are only accessible by air, and all border crossings between South Africa and Botswana have been cut, as have some links between Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The Beit Bridge border post has remained open, however.

The centre of Eline skirted Mozambique's main towns before crossing into Zimbabwe, where national emergency services have been put on full alert.

Meteorologists said Eline was dissipating as it moved toward Zimbabwe, although places such as Beira were still experiencing heavy rain and strong winds.

Zimbabwe's state news agency Ziana reports that the eastern districts bordering Mozambique are being pounding by heavy rains.