Mozambique + 2 more

Southern Africa: Flood warnings for region

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JOHANNESBURG, 11 March (IRIN) - While Mozambique counts the devastating cost of cyclone Japhet, the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) drought and floods network has warned of the possibility of further flooding in other parts of the region.
Development NGO Oxfam warned on Monday that heavy rains over the weekend in Mozambique's Gaza, Sofala, Manica and Inhambane provinces meant that "the populations were suffering the effects of three natural disasters". Cyclone Japhet had been preceded by cyclone Delfina and severe drought.

So far nineteen have been killed and last week authorities said 23,000 had been affected by flooding caused by cyclone Japhet.

In the Save catchment area, at least 12,000 people have been directly affected in the area of Nova Mambone, Inhambane province.

A preliminary report by Oxfam's humanitarian officer in the Nova Mambone area said people were without "shelter, food, drinking water" and that the situation had been worsened by "the lack of vision [foresight] to evacuate people".

Meanwhile, the SADC floods and drought hazards network warned on Tuesday that while the main cyclone activity was diminishing, river levels remained high.

It was expected that by Wednesday, "the rainfall activity related to ex-tropical cyclone Japhet [would] diminish significantly across much of central and southern Mozambique" and parts of Zimbabwe.

However, river levels had risen significantly in the Save catchment over the last few days. River levels at the Save Gorge rose significantly on Friday 7 March, and were still maintaining a high level. And there were indications that many rivers in the affected areas, as well as other rivers in central Malawi, northern Mozambique, and northern Zimbabwe, may be at risk of flooding, SADC warned.

There was a need for people to stay alert, particularly in downstream areas.

[ENDS]

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