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Sudan urges people living in flood plains to evacuate

Sudan, Africa
Photo: A Sudanese sits amongst the remains of his home following floods in Kassala, near Khartoum, Sudan Tuesday, July 10, 2007. At least fifteen were killed and some five thousand houses were destroyed in Khartoum, Kassala and the White Nile states in central Sudan. (AP Photos/Abd Raouf)

KHARTOUM, July 24 (Reuters) - Sudan has advised people residing along flood paths to relocate to safer areas as heavy rains that have already killed 55 people and destroyed 25,000 homes continue to batter much of the country. "We are also urging those living along river banks and in areas previously affected by floods to leave immediately," Hamadallah Adam Ali, the head of the civil defense authority, told Reuters on Tuesday. Sudan is experiencing its worst floods in living memory. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement last week the floods could affect some 2.4 million people across 16 of Sudan's 26 states. Sudanese Interior Minister Zubeir Bashir Taha warned the situation was almost critical, predicting heavier rains in the coming days or weeks. "The levels are now fluctuating between alert and critical. We haven't as yet exceeded the critical level. We have exceeded the alert level," the minister told Reuters earlier this week.
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