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Benin floods create mass displacement, destruction

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Image: Flooded street
Salako Valentin  /  AP
Residents board canoes in Cotonou, Benin, on Oct. 9.
The Associated Press
updated 11/2/2010 9:42:31 AM ET 2010-11-02T13:42:31

The U.N. says flooding in Benin has affected more than half a million people, destroyed more than 300,000 acres of crops and killed 81,000 livestock.

A statement released Monday by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says flood waters have affected at least 680,000 people in the West African nation. A World Food Program spokesman warned that food has become a critical issue in the region.

Aid workers also fear an outbreak of cholera, a bacterial infection spread through contaminated water.

Flooding began in mid-September when heavy rains caused the Niger River in Benin's north to overflow. Rainfall continues across the country.

Heavy rains and the breakage of a dam in nearby Ghana have displaced more than 700,000 people.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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