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200,000 in Angola hit by floods: UN

The UN last week warned that the floods could trigger a major food shortage, as harvest yields are expected to plummet 63 percent.
by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) March 31, 2009
The UN on Tuesday raised the number of people hit by floods in Angola to 200,000 and warned that numbers are "likely to increase" amid the worst floods lashing the region in more than four decades.

The latest figures marked a 40,000 rise from estimates of 160,000 given last Friday by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Heavy rains and floods have also affected up to 350,000 people in Namibia, with Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe also hit by the floods.

"The flooding in southern African is intensifying," said OCHA spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs, adding the floods "are the worst in the region since 1963."

Namibia has suffered from a "cumulative effect" as the 2008 floods had already devastated much of the roads and bridges which were under repair when the fresh floods hit.

"This has significantly reduced access of the affected population to health facilities, schools and market places."

OCHA said that forecasts up to May indicate "normal to above normal rainfall" for most of the region, and more cyclones and flash floods could occur.

The UN agency last week warned that the floods could trigger a major food shortage, as harvest yields are expected to plummet 63 percent.

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Blizzard bears down on flooded North Dakota
Fargo, North Dakota (AFP) March 30, 2009
A massive blizzard bore down on flood-ravaged North Dakota Monday as officials struggled to shore-up levees against potential erosion from high, powerful waves and swift moving waters.







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