The president of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, has called for a country-wide alert against flooding as the result of heavy rains in neighbouring countries.

At least three people, two of them children, are reported to have died when they attempted to cross a flooded river in the north of the country.

The central Zambezi, Pungoe, Buzi and Save rivers are above their normal levels, as are the Limpopo, Incomati and Maputo in the south.

Discharges from the Massingir dam have been lowered, which is helping to keep levels in the Limpopo under control.

The rainy season is only half through and Mozambique is prone to serious flooding at this time of year. In the disastrous floods in February and March 2000, the worst for 50 years, it is estimated that 800 people died and 20,000 cattle were lost.