Mozambique flood death toll rises

THE death toll from flooding in Mozambique climbed to about 40 yesterday after four more bodies were discovered in the worst-hit southern town of Chokwe, while the number of people forced to flee has topped 100000.

"They found four bodies in the last 24 hours," the town's mayor Jorge Makwakwa said, adding that Chokwe's flood-ravaged streets were littered with "rotting animal carcasses". He said the 9000 residents who had stayed behind were in urgent need of clean water and food.

The floods, which have also hit South Africa and Zimbabwe, are the result of days of torrential rains this month.

The UN children's agency Unicef said yesterday that about 23000 families had sought shelter in camps in Gaza.

Mozambique's Disaster Relief Management Institute spokeswoman Rita Almeida said yesterday: "Our biggest priority is to reach the people [who are sheltering] in trees."

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