February 22, 2018 / 1:46 PM / in 4 months

Death toll from Mozambique summer rains reaches 50

MAPUTO (Reuters) - The southern hemisphere summer rainy season has killed 50 people in Mozambique since October, the country’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) said in its latest update on Thursday.

This figure includes 17 people killed in the capital Maputo on Monday when a 15-metre pile of garbage collapsed due to heavy rain and buried seven houses.

Elsewhere, torrential rains and winds have caused flooding, including in the gas-rich north of the country, with 7,200 dwellings destroyed and 130,000 people affected.

Low-lying areas of Mozambique, a tropical African nation with a huge Indian Ocean coastline, are often hit by floods, which in some years in the past have killed hundreds of people.

Much of southern Africa including Mozambique is still recovering from a devastating drought two years ago and the dry, compacted soil increases the potential for flooding as rainfall is less easily absorbed into the parched ground.

Reporting by Manuel Mucari; Editing by Ed Stoddard and Toby Chopra

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