Mozambique storms, floods kill 12

Lightning killed eight churchgoers in central Mozambique with a separate storm and floods raising the death toll to 12, police and state media said on Wednesday.

"The group was meeting under a tree when the thunderstorm started," in Mossurize district in Manica province close to the border with Zimbabwe on Sunday, provincial police spokesman Belmiro Mutadiwa told AFP.

A disaster management official said on January 7 that heavy rain in the next two months in Mozambique could cause massive floods comparable to devastating downpours that killed 800 people in 2000.

Lightning in Gondola district near the Manica provincial capital Chimoio killed one person on Monday, Mutadiwa said, while state media reported that a storm and flash floods in the city killed three other people that same day.

British consulting firm Maplecroft last year rated Mozambique the second country in the world most vulnerable to natural disasters after Haiti, which was hit by a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake 12 months ago.

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