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April 14th, 2009 in Breaking News, Martial Law

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Zambia mulls state of emergency as floods affect 700,000

Reuters AlertNet - Zambia mulls state of emergency as floods affect 700,000.

Zambia is considering declaring a state of emergency following the worst floods in 40 years which have wreaked havoc in the west and north-west of the country, affecting 700,000 people.

Unusually long and severe wet seasons over the last three years compounded by heavy rains in the past month have caused rivers to burst their banks, washing away roads and houses and flooding cropland.

“If the rains do not subside, internal government consultations are under way to see whether we shall have to declare a state of emergency,” said Dominiciano Mulenga, national coordinator of the Zambia Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit.

Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda who visited the flood-affected Western province on Monday described the situation as “really terrible”.

“Our assessment has revealed that between 600,000 and 700,000 people have been either displaced or severely crippled by the floods especially in nine of the 18 districts that have been affected,” Mulenga told AlertNet by telephone.