At least 100 people have been killed by floods sweeping through southern Africa, with new walls of water on the way.

MAPUTO, Mozambique - Soldiers and relief workers using helicopters and canoes have evacuated 60,000 people from the flooded Zambezi River Valley in central Mozambique, where more than 100,000 others are at risk, officials said Monday.

Prime Minister Luisa Diogo ordered the forcible removal of people in low-lying areas amid reports that some peasant farmers were refusing to evacuate unless their cattle and goats also were rescued.

Some 100 people have drowned or been electrocuted and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes in torrential rains that have swamped a swath of southern Africa from Angola in the west to Mozambique in the east with Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in between. Bridges have collapsed, power lines been torn down and roads swept away.

More than 46,000 homes have been washed away in Mozambique alone, officials said. Rescuers have saved some victims found clinging to trees, according to provincial authorities.

The director of Mozambique's National Disasters Management Office, Paolo Zucula, told The Associated Press that 59,554 people have been evacuated from the Zambezi valley in the past three days.

Zucula said he had ordered an airborne rescue to start Sunday, with two helicopters joining a flotilla of boats and canoes manned by police and relief workers. The main road being used to transport emergency supplies has been cut off by the floods, he said.

The Zambezi, a floodplain river that crosses the continent and has three major dams, weeks ago burst its banks with its swollen waters and those of its tributaries coming together in Mozambique's northwestern Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam.

Officials began discharging water from the overflowing dam, which contains a reservoir covering more than 1,000 square miles, at a rate of up to 353,000 cubic feet a minute last week. More floodgates must be opened this week to prevent the dam wall from bursting, authorities said. That will unleash walls of water that will bear down the Zambezi and sweep into the center of the country.

The Mozambicans are coordinating with water authorities in Zambia, where dams and reservoirs also are near capacity.

Diogo said this year's floods could be worse than those of 2000-2001, which killed some 800 people, but that officials do not expect as many fatalities because relief workers and agencies are better prepared.

The U.N. World Food Program on Monday launched an urgent appeal for food and other aid for flood victims. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies said Monday it was releasing more than $216,000 from its disaster relief emergency fund to help flood victims.

Mozambique is on ''red alert,'' one step down from declaring a national disaster.