Floods continue to wreak havoc in parts of Zimbabwe with an unofficial death toll of 30 since the inundations began in late December and an estimated 10,000 people left homeless, reports by state media and humanitarian relief sources said.
Unconfirmed reports indicated at least 30 people have drowned in the floods across the country. Afflicted areas include the low-lying areas of Chipinge and Middle Sabi in Manicaland Province, parts of Masvingo province, and the area around Victoria Falls, in Matabeleland North. The state-run Herald paper reported 22 deaths.
VOA was unable to confirm the death toll with the Civil Protection Unit.
Meanwhile, Chongwe District in Zambia, to the north, has issued an alert that major rivers in the country are swelling, posing a flood risk to neighboring countries.
The semi-official Herald newspaper quoted the meteorological services department as saying tropical cyclone Elnus, characterized by strong winds, was seen heading from the Mozambican Channel onto the Southern African mainland. However, principal meteorologist Hector Chikoore said Zimbabwe was not threatened.
Regional Disaster Coordinator Farid Abdul Kabir of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that conditions in stricken areas are increasingly desperate.