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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 12:27 UK

Togo rains trigger deadly floods

File photo from 2007 of the flooded Oti river in the Mango district of northern Togo
More than 20 people were killed by floods in September 2007

Flooding from torrential rains in Togo has displaced thousands and reportedly left at least three people dead.

The floods have affected several parts of the country, including the capital, Lome, and the Maritime and Plateau regions, a BBC reporter says.

Downpours have also destroyed bridges, severing transport between the north and the rest of the country.

The army has begun rescue operations while the government has appealed for international aid.

At least three people have been killed in the flooding, UN officials said.

Farming communities in central Togo have also been submerged in water after rivers burst their banks.

Canoes

In the south of the country, 23 stranded children were rescued by helicopter provided by the air force in neighbouring Ghana, the BBC's Ebow Godwin reports from Lome.

The government has decided to evacuate affected areas and create settlements for those displaced, our correspondent says.

In Togblekope, a suburb of Lome, the military have been using canoes to ferry people to safety.

The government also says a road diversion has been created to replace a highway that normally links the south to the northern parts of the country and to neighbouring Burkina Faso.

Land-locked Burkina Faso gets its vital imports including food and crude oil supplies through the Lome Free Port.

An official from the UN humanitarian affairs agency said on Wednesday that recent flooding in Togo had affected 10,000 people, destroying 400 houses and cutting off nine bridges.

More of the heavy rains that have caused flooding in West Africa for a second consecutive year are expected, he said.

Rains caused flooding across the region in September 2007, leaving more than 20 people dead and another 20,000 homeless in Togo.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Togo
18 Jun 08 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Togo
18 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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