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Death toll rises to 145 in southern African floods

by Staff Writers
Luanda (AFP) April 16, 2009
The death toll from deadly floods in southern Africa has risen to 145, aid workers and officials said Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of people affected by the high waters.

In Angola the death toll jumped from 24 last week to over 60 this week, after months of heavy rains and flooding in the south of the country, General Eugenio Laborinho, head of the National Service for Civil Protection.

Aid workers fear the waters will cause even more damage as the floods move south across the border into Namibia, where the death toll already stands at 85.

Laborinho told Angola's church-run Radio Ecclesia that the situation was coming under control.

"All conditions possible are being created to support the victims of the rains," he said.

The floods have hit Angola, Namibia and Zambia the hardest, with a total of 781,000 people suffering damages to their homes or crops in the three countries, according to national estimates.

More than half of the victims are in Zambia, although national authorities there have not reported any fatalities.

Months of heavy rains have also raised fears of water-borne diseases, with the United Nations reporting nearly 500 cases of cholera so far this year in Angola.

"This flooding will have a long-term impact on these communities," Karen Hvid, Angola representative for the International Federation of the Red Cross, told AFP.

A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said rains and flooding were expected to continue into the middle of May, especially in Angola.

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Namibia flood situation still disastrous': officials
Windhoek (AFP) April 12, 2009
Deadly flooding in parts of Namibia has left thousands of people homeless and in need of food and shelter, aid workers and officials said Sunday.

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