MAPUTO (Reuters) - At least 16 artisanal gold miners drowned on Monday in northern Mozambique after heavy rains flooded the mining field they were working in, a local television station reported on Thursday, while more remain missing.
Citing local and disaster management officials, Miramar reported 24 deaths overall in the storms, which began at the weekend and lashed central and northern Mozambique with heavy rains, thunder and hail.
Faruk Satar, a district head in the northern province of Nampula, told the TV station on Wednesday that the miners had drowned after waters surged down a normally dry river bed, flooding the nearby mining field.
Thirteen bodies were recovered then but Miramar said on Thursday rescuers had since found another three, taking the total death toll to 16 with dozens more still unaccounted for.
It said a further eight people had died earlier in the week in the central province of Manica.
Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management has said that 1,194 families have been affected by the storms, which have also destroyed homes, in Manica alone, with almost half of those in need of food and other assistance.
Reporting by Manuel Mucari; Editing by Emma Rumney and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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