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Flood death toll across Southern Africa reaches 260

A flood victim attempted to help his disabled child at a food distribution point in Nchalo, Malawi. The Malawi government has declared half the nation a disaster zone.
A flood victim attempted to help his disabled child at a food distribution point in Nchalo, Malawi. The Malawi government has declared half the nation a disaster zone.(EPA/ERICO WAGA)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The estimated death toll from flooding and torrential rain in Mozambique, Malawi, and the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar reached 260, with about 360,000 people driven from their homes, officials said Monday.

Seventy-one people have died in northern and central Mozambique, with 80,000 displaced, said Rita de Almeida, spokeswoman for the country’s National Disaster Management Institute, on Monday by phone from the capital, Maputo.

In Malawi, at least 176 people are feared to have died, while about 200,000 have fled their homes, Vice President Saulos Chilima said on Saturday in Nkula, 63 miles north of the commercial capital, Blantyre. The southern districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Phalombe were worst hit, he said.

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In Madagascar, which is off the coast of Mozambique, tropical storm Chedza claimed 13 lives and displaced at least 80,000 people, the island-nation’s National Office for Disaster Management said in the capital, Antananarivo.

Heavy rain is forecast across Madagascar, northern Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, and southern Tanzania over the next few days.

Bloomberg News