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Heavy rain hits parts of Zimbabwe, breaks 42-year-old record, 60 gold miners feared dead

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Heavy rain hit parts of Zimbabwe on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 12 and 13, 2019, causing floods in which up to 60 illegal gold miners are feared to have lost their lives.

The miners were trapped overnight Wednesday after a dam burst flooded two disused shafts in a mining town of Battlefields, 145 km (90 miles) southwest of capital Harare. Only 8 people have been rescued so far.

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The Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD), said 203 mm (7.99 inches) of rain was recorded February 13 in the small town of Chiredzi, Masvingo province, breaking its 42-year-old daily rainfall record (98 mm / 3.85 inches set in 1977). 

Mukadzi received 126 mm (4.96 inches) of rain during the same period, 75 mm (2.95 inches) at Beitbridge, 73 mm (2.87 inches) and 70 mm (2.75 inches) in Zaka.

MSD warned heavy rain was expected countrywide on February 14, resulting in possible flash flooding and infrastructural damage.

Although Zimbabwe has rich platinum, diamond, gold, coal and copper deposits, it's in the grip of a deep economic crisis.

Featured image credit: africanews

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