Some 45,000 people in Mozambique have been displaced by flooding along the Zambezi valley, authorities say.

They say between 150,000 and 200,000 people could be affected over the coming weeks if forecast rains fall in upper reaches of the valley.

January is usually the middle of the wet season for southern Africa but it is rarely as wet as this.

The Zambezi has already burst its banks in some areas forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.

And the river is continuing to rise.


Across northern Zimbabwe, southern Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, relentless rain has waterlogged fields, and washed out roads and villages.

The worry for Mozambique, though, is that most of that water drains out to the east along the Zambezi River valley through the centre of the country.

The National Institute of Disaster Management has been co-ordinating the emergency response in Mozambique.

Director Paulo Zucula said that if forecast rains fell in the catchment area, the Zambezi could reach levels as high as in 2000. Then, half a million people fled the rising water.

But he said that disaster and subsequent floods taught the country how to cope - and he expected the numbers of people affected this time to be far lower.