Ten drown, six stranded in floods

via Ten drown, six stranded in floods 03 January 2015

TEN people have been killed and six others marooned by flooded rivers in northern Zimbabwe, state radio reported Saturday.

Eight people including a baby were killed along the Ngwazani River, in the Mashonaland West province, while two others drowned in the province’s Angwa River, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said in a report on its website.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the body of the baby who drowned in the Ngwazani River was found along with seven adults during a recovery operation.

“Preliminary reports suggest seven of the dead are close relatives while the driver [was] a family friend,” the report said.

The driver apparently tried to cross the river despite warnings from other vehicle owners who had decided against crossing, after the river burst its banks.

In the Angwa River incident, two people drowned while six others were left marooned on an island in the middle of the river. The six, who were still trapped awaiting rescue, survived the flood waters by clinging to the branches of trees.

“The civil protection unit says helicopters cannot fly due to bad weather, thereby hampering rescue operations,” the ZBC said.

The local meteorological services department says that rains will continue this weekend in Mashonaland West and neighbouring Mashonaland Central provinces, which are both in northern Zimbabwe.

The country has been receiving significant rains since early December.

Harare’s central business district experienced flash floods last month triggered by heavy downpours that overwhelmed poorly maintained drainage systems.

A six-year-old girl drowned in the eastern city of Mutare after floods there destroyed several homes in a new low-income housing project in December.