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Thursday, 27 December, 2001, 12:20 GMT
Morocco floods kill 15
Flood victim in Mohamedia
The press has criticised authorities for not doing enough
Flash floods triggered by torrential rain have killed 15 people and left hundreds homeless in Morocco over the past week.

The rains hit last weekend and flood waters have yet to subside in parts of the Settat and Essaouria regions.

The first deaths occurred on Monday, when six people were drowned when their taxi was swept away in Settat by the overflowing Boumoussa river, 150km south of the capital Rabat.

Officials told the Associated Press news agency that an 11-year-old boy and two others were also killed in separate incidents in Settat.

According to AP, a further six people died around the Atlantic tourist destination of Essaouria.

Burst banks

The floods have caused damage estimated at $1.75m and hundreds of families are homeless.

Flood victim in Mohamedia
Flood waters are yet to subside

Reuters news agency reported that the industrial city of Mohamedia, 70km south of Rabat, had been cut off when the Oued El Maleh river burst its banks.

Residents of shanty-towns there were inundated and tents were erected for those who had lost their homes.

But the Moroccan press has strongly criticized the authorities for not having done enough to prevent severe flooding.

But Morocco's official MAP news agency said railway services had resumed between Casablance and Khouribga.

See also:

17 Dec 01 | Europe
Europe battles snow and floods
04 Sep 01 | Africa
Morocco's king hits back at Spain
22 Aug 01 | Europe
Spanish worry over immigrant rise
23 Nov 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Morocco
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