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10,000 homeless after Angola floods

by Staff Writers
Luanda (AFP) Feb 12, 2008
More than 10,000 people have been forced from their homes and two thousand makeshift houses swept away by floods after heavy rain pounded parts of southern Angola, authorities said on Tuesday.

Some of those displaced were being put up in tents at makeshift camps while others were being housed in schools in the provinces of Cunene, Namibe and Huila. But authorities said they unable to cope with the number of people who need to be rescued from the danger area.

"Right now there are people still trapped that cannot be rescued. We're sending new police reinforcements to take people from risk areas into safety," Eugenio Laborinho, commander of the National Protection Services, told reporters in the capital Luanda.

"We have passed from an abnormal situation to a case of calamity."

The town of Ondjiva in Cunene Province saw the worst of the floods, with more than 9,000 people displaced.

A resident in the area told AFP that the scale of the flooding was unprecedented.

"The town is under water. You see houses, cars parked in garages all sitting in the water. I have never seen rain like this," said Carlos Txiwissa.

The southern provinces of Cunene, Huila, Namibe and Cuando Cubango have been worst hit by the intensive downpours which come after a lengthy drought.

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Zambia and Zimbabwe open dam spillway gate
Lusaka (AFP) Feb 12, 2008
Authorities in Zambia and Zimbabwe have opened one of six spillway gates at the giant cross-border Kariba Dam in a bid to stave off damage from rising floodwaters, state radio said Tuesday.

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