Libreville (AFP) Sept 11, 2010
Heavy rains in Chad have caused flooding in more than half of the country's regions, leaving nearly 70,000 homeless and threatening the country's food security, a UN agency said Saturday.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it estimated nearly 145,000 people in Chad have been hit by flooding and over 31,000 hectares (76,000 acres) of crops lost.
But those figures would climb as some areas are still unaccessible, it added.
"The floods could exacerbate food insecurity for some households in areas where (floods) washed away crops and destroyed livelihoods," OCHA's Chad office said in a statement.
earlier related report
"The two men and the two women were in a tent put up for the marriage ceremony," the family member told AFP of the tragedy in a village around 60 kilometers (40 miles) east of the capital Nouakchott.
"They died instantly. Two other people were slightly burned."
A baby whom one of the women was breast-feeding was saved "by a miracle", the source said. The storm otherwise spared a large group of people who had gathered for the wedding.
The accident plunged the village into mourning on the day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim feast marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
earlier related report
"We're facing the most intense rainy season recorded in our beloved Mexico," President Felipe Calderon said during a visit to northern areas affected by Hurricane Alex, which in July caused 22 deaths and left some 40,000 homeless.
Calderon earlier visited flood-hit eastern areas drenched by rains that also pounded the south and center regions in the past week, affecting more than 900,000 people, according to local officials.
Rain between January and August this year has been almost double the historical average and September will be "one of the rainiest in many years," Calderon said.
Following Alex, Hurricane Frank left four dead and two missing as it traveled up Mexico's Pacific coast in August.
"The worst is still to come," Governor Andres Granier Melo of central Tobasco state warned on Wednesday, noting that the real beginning of the traditional rainy season was September, lasting until November.
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