Mozambique's Flood Death Toll Rises To 640

MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - The official death toll from the flooding that has affected much of southern and central Mozambique since early February has now risen to 640, according to a government spokesperson.
Antonio Macheve, of the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), told the Mozambican news Agency Thursday that 380 people were known to have died in the southern province of Gaza alone. Most of the deaths in Gaza occurred in the beleaguered district of Chokwe, where some 200 people lost their lives in massive flooding of the Limpopo river.

It was expected that with the waters receding, it would be possible to recover more bodies buried beneath the layers of mud, but renewed flooding is now hindering search efforts.

Macheve said that the death toll is likely to rise since there are 95 people who were still missing.

"That's why we fear that the death toll will rise further.

But meanwhile, there are on-going searches to locate the bodies", he said.

Some two million people were affected by the flooding, including one million in need of assistance.

About 450,000 of these have been displaced from their homes.

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