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Thousands Remain Stranded in Mozambique

Thousands Remain Stranded in Mozambique as Relief Agencies Struggle

MAPUTO, Mozambique -- With a rescue helicopter hovering overhead and floodwaters below, Sophia Pedro gave birth to a baby girl in a treetop she had sought refuge in four days earlier, one of as many as 1 million people made homeless in this southeast African nation.

An hour later, Pedro and her daughter were rescued after a medic lowered from a helicopter cut the newborn's umbilical cord and pulled the two to safety.

Wednesday's dramatic rescue came as thousands more Mozambicans remained stranded in trees, on rooftops or on shrinking islands of land. Thousands more are feared dead in flooding that has devastated one of the world's poorest countries.

With the arrival of more international aid, relief agencies stepped up rescue flights and efforts to get food, medicine and drinking water to people they will not be able to rescue today.

Michele Quintaglie, a spokeswoman for the U.N. World Food Program, said thousands of people have now spent five days exposed to the elements, without food or clean drinking water.

For more, see the New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/late/02mozambique.html

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