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Mozambique tropical storms kill 25 people: officials
by Staff Writers
Maputo (AFP) Jan 25, 2012

At least 25 people have been killed as a result of two tropical cyclones that hit central and southern Mozambique over the past two weeks, government officials said on Wednesday.

"Twenty five people died in the last two weeks as a result of the Cyclones 'Dando' and 'Funso, the highest number of deaths was reported in Zambezia with a total of 16 victims, followed by Gaza with nine," director of Technical Council for Disaster Management Dulce Chilungo told AFP.

Another three people have been reported missing after they were swept away by flood waters at Limpompo river in Gaza province.

Tropical storm Dando hit the southern African country from Sunday to Tuesday with gusts of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) per hour and rainfall of over 200 millimetres (nearly eight inches).

According to the National Institute of Meteorology Funso is moving southwards the Mozambique Channel, with winds exceeding 195 kilometres per hour, and is likely to bring heavy rains within the next 24 hours.

Twelve years ago 700 people died and half a million were displaced in the worst floods in the impoverished country's history.

Floods displace 5,000 in southern Malawi
Blantyre (AFP) Jan 25, 2012 - About 5,000 people have fled their homes to escape floodwaters in southern Malawi, due to heavy rains from a deadly cyclone that is battering neighbouring Mozambique, authorities said Wednesday.

Army helicopters and motorboats were deployed to the southern district of Nsanje, along the Mozambican border, to rescue marooned villagers.

Nsanje has been "receiving heavy rains since mid-last week which has resulted in two big rivers to break their banks and flood scores of villages," district commissioner Rodney Simwaka told AFP by telephone.

The Shire River, which flows out of Lake Malawi, and the Ruo, which originates from the picturesque Mulanje Mountain, have flooded following heavy rains caused by Cyclone Funso, a powerful Category 4 storm moving slowly through the Mozambican Channel.

Simwaka said about 2,500 villagers fled to hills when the floods hit homes along the rivers.

"Several thousands of people are still marooned in dry patches of land in the flooded villages," he said.

Roads and bridges leading to Nsanje, 175 kilometres (110 miles) from the commercial capital Blantyre, had been washed away, cutting off 30 villages.

He said the helicopter and engine boat operation to rescue the villagers started on Tuesday. Only 99 villagers have been flown to safety and were being housed in schools and churches where the government was distributing food and relief items.

No deaths were reported, but hundreds of hectares of the maize fields were under water and scores of cattle, goats and chickens had been washed away, he added.

The district is prone to floods every year and thousands of villagers defy government orders to move to higher land because they want to grow crops in river banks after the floods, which leave soil rich in silt.

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Tropical cyclone hits Mozambique, 12 dead: report
Maputo (AFP) Jan 23, 2012
At least 12 people have been killed and thousands displaced when cyclone Funso hit central Mozambique at the weekend, state television said Monday. "The deaths occured in five districts in Zambezia" province, Mozambique Television said, citing the National Disaster Management Institute. Seven deaths were reported in Manganja da Costa, two in Nicoadala, one in Namacurra, one in Pebane and ... read more

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