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SA sends tonnes of aid to Mozambique

South Africa has sent 200 tonnes of aid to Mozambique following floods in that country.

Thousands of Mozambicans were left homeless following flooding. Picture: Roy Paton/IWN

JOHANNESBURG - At least 200 tonnes of South African aid is on its way to the Mozambican border bound for the flood-hit southern part of the country.

Local officials warn of more bad weather on the horizon following floods that have left at least 70 people dead and more than 150,000 displaced.

The 200 tonnes of aid including water tanks, filters, blankets and food are due to arrive in the worst affected areas around Xai Xai later on Thursday.

Mozambique's disaster management authorities said they were worried about rising water levels in the central and northern parts of the country, as tropical cyclone Felleng edges closer to Madagascar.

They said more flooding could affect more than 100,000 people.

Disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers has set up emergency camps and will be distributing food, clothing and blankets as well as providing people with material to rebuild homes of displaced people.

Founder of the organisation, Imtiaz Sooliman, said they still needed support from the public.

"We will need the support of the public, especially in terms of food and water.

"Whatever can be contributed will be a great help because there are just too many people to feed."

MORE FLOODING IMMINENT

The United Nations (UN) said millions of dollars of aid was still needed to deal with the dire situation in the south.

Meanwhile, a tourism organisation spokesperson in Xai Xai said holiday resorts along the coast were not damaged by last week's floods.

However, more rain is expected which could see the town being flooded.

Frans Nel said they experienced eight days of continuous rainfall before the Massingir Dam flooded last week.

"The town is situated next to the Limpopo River, if there's more rain up north, then the water can very well flood the town. However, at the moment the situation is not as severe as it was in 2000."

More than 700 people were killed when Mozambique suffered record floods in 2000.

It left thousands of people stranded, homeless and without any food.

In 2000, over 50,000 people were rescued from rooftops, trees and other isolated and flooded areas during heavy rains.

Children died from starvation and 90 percent of the country's functioning irrigation infrastructure was damaged, causing the severe agricultural losses.

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