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The Limpopo river has burst its banks in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza, leading the authorities to urge people living near the river banks in Chokwe and Guija districts to seek higher ground.
A food surge down the river, from Zimbabwe and South Africa, raised the level of the river in Mozambique sharply as from Thursday. The flood surge reached Chokwe on Friday, raising the Limpopo to 7.5 metres, 2.5 metres above flood alert level.
According to a report on the independent television station STV, 600 hectares of crops have already been lost and several roads in the Limpopo Valley have been cut, notably the Guijá-Chinhacanine, Guijá-Chibuto and Chissano-Chibuto roads,
Visiting the threatened areas on Friday, Joao Machatine, the General Director of the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) urged local communities to accept the advice from the authorities and stay away from the river. His key message was that people should move, immediately they receive the alert, rather than risk being isolated by the rising waters.
Further north, the Save river has, for the second time this year, inundated the town of Machanga, in the central province of Sofala. The sharp rise in the level of the Save has been attributed to torrential rains in Zimbabwe.
The administrator of Machanga district, Tome Jose, cited by Radio Mozambique, said that the flooding has affected 5,100 households in 20 villages.
The waters of the Save swept across Muchanga on Friday morning. About 6,000 pupils in 13 school could not study that day, and ten patients at a local health centre had to be moved to safer areas.
The road from the main north-south highway to Machanga town is cut in two places, said Jose, and an electricity pylon has been knocked down by the river, depriving the town of its power.Source: AIM