Tens of thousands of Mozambicans in the Zambezi river valley are being evacuated following the decision by the river authorities to open a floodgate in the Kariba dam upstream on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border. The release of the waters is scheduled for 11 February because the recent heavy rain over the Zambezi basin is expected to continue. Some of the evacuees include people who have already been moved to reception centres as a result of earlier flooding.
In late January nearly 100,000 people were displaced by flooding, raising the spectre of the 2000-2001 disaster which left 700 people dead and 500,000 homeless. It is not clear how many people have died in the recent floods although some sources suggest the final death toll could be over 100. The town of Marromeu in the central province of Sofala has been completely cut off by the high waters and local news sources report a shortage of fuel for search and rescue operations in the area.