Four Dead in Mozambique Storm

Published November 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

At least four people have died in a storm that lashed Mozambique's central Zambezia province during the weekend, state radio reported Tuesday. 

The four, including one child, died after being hit by falling walls, trees and coconuts in the provincial capital Quelimane, Radio Mozambique said. 

About 70 houses were destroyed in the storm Sunday, said Americo Sequeira, a government official who confirmed the deaths to the radio. 

A government team is headed to region to access the damage. 

Meanwhile, heavy rains have poured for nearly a week on southern Mozambique, which suffered the worst of the devastating floods in February and March. 

In Maputo, the latest rains are aggravating damage to roads and homes, many of which are not yet fully repaired. 

Heavy rains have fallen on Xai-Xai, 260 kilometers (150 miles) north of Maputo, since Monday, Radio Mozambique said. 

Xai-Xai also is struggling to recover from the floods earlier this year, when the Limpopo River burst its banks and inundated the commercial and administrative center in the lower part of the city. 

At one stage, the waters nearly reached the first floor of the buildings. 

Part of the city is still in ruins, as local government decides whether to rebuild on the safer, upper side of town -- a move that would cost 14 million dollars. 

Meteorologists have warned that Mozambique could soon suffer more floods, but on a smaller scale than those earlier this year that claimed more than 700 lives. 

Forecasters are predicting above normal rainfall in southern and central regions. 

People living along river valleys have been warned that even normal rainfall could cause floods because the soil remains waterlogged -- MAPUTO (AFP)  



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