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30 December 2011

Flood Alert as Heavy Rains Continue in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's weather department is issuing a flood alert and says heavy rains are expected to continue.

The Meteorological Service says downpours of more than 3 inches (nearly 8 centimeters) are forecast in northern and eastern regions through Jan. 2, accompanied by gusty winds.

In a statement Friday, the government's civil protection agency also advised affected communities to find shelter on higher ground.

It warned that roofs could be blown off and low-cost and mud-built houses risk collapse from water saturation.

In years of economic decline, broken drainage and sewers have led to outbreaks of waterborne diseases worsened by rain. More than 4,000 people died from the waterborne illness cholera in 2008.

- AP