Authorities rescue more than 1,700 from floods

Mozambican marines rescued more than 1,700 people, including 900 children, from flooding in central Mozambique on Friday.

The marines used eight boats to mount the rescue operation in the central town of Buzi in the province of Sofala, where at least 28,000 people have been affected by the floods.

Mozambique has been inundated by rain since January. The situation was worsened last week when the impoverished southern African nation was battered by Cyclone Favio, which left at least 12 people dead in the tourist resort of Vilanculos.

International aid agencies have mounted a big relief operation to help the stretched government, which has won praise for limiting the number of casualties by its preparedness and earlier evacuations of tens of thousands of people.

The flooding in Tete, Sofala, Manica and Zambezia, in central Mozambique, has killed at least 40 people, affected more than 120,000 people. Nearly 90,000 people have been rescued.

Some 800 Mozambicans died in floods caused by two cyclones in 2000 and 2001. Since then, the government has overhauled its disaster management system.

Buzi district administrator Sergio Moiane said in a Radio Mozambique interview on Friday that many water sources and latrines have been destroyed by the latest floods.

He said 13 primary schools were inundated, leaving about 17,000 students without classes. Another eight schools were also closed because their premises are being used as accommodation centers.

The town of Buzi has been isolated from the rest of the country because the main highway is impassable. Rescue boats are struggling with strong currents on the river, reports AP.

The World Food Program promised to send in food to last at least 15 days.

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