EMMANUEL CAMILLO, Associated Press

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Heavy flooding in Mozambique has killed 10 people and displaced nearly 20,000 more, the government disaster management office said Wednesday.

Seven people died trying to cross the Licungo river in the Zambezia province, with four people dying when their car was swept away, said Rita Almeida, the disaster management office spokeswoman.

Three more people died when they were struck by lightning in the northern Niassa province, Almeida said.

Police are also searching for 18 children who went missing in the Mocuba region near the Licungo river, district manager Teresa Mauhai told Radio Mozambique on Tuesday.

Flooding has also damaged one of the main roads connecting the north and south of the country. Emergency services are using boats to access flood victims.

Mozambique’s government Monday issued a red alert for disaster readiness for the central and northern provinces. The government also urged people in low-lying areas to find shelter on higher ground.

Across the border in neighboring Malawi, 48 people were killed and nearly 23,000 displaced due to flooding in that country, the government there said on Tuesday.

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