Rising rivers strand people in Zimbabwe, search and rescue operations underway

Search and rescue operations were underway in the north of Zimbabwe on Sunday after a number of people were left stranded by rising rivers, state media reported.

This follows the death of eight people, including four children, on Saturday after their car was swept off a bridge in Mashonaland West, near the town of Kadoma.

On Saturday, the main highway linking Harare to the Chirundu border post with neighbouring Zambia, had to be shut down for several hours to allow flood waters from a nearby dam to subside.

However, by Sunday, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s Power FM station reported that the waters had subsided and the road had been re-opened.

The broadcaster said “scores” of people who were reported to be stranded in Mashonaland west and central provinces on Saturday had since been rescued, but search and rescue operations were underway on Sunday for others who might be marooned.

It did not say how many people were believed to be stranded.

Two other people who were swept off an island in the middle of the Angwa river were found to have managed to swim to safety.