Authorities say rescue teams have evacuated 6,000 people, some of them forcibly, from flood-stricken districts in central Mozambique.

Authorities said Monday that many impoverished households refused to be relocated for fear of losing their belongings, though their homes were surrounded by rising flood waters.

Joao Zambiza, head of disaster relief in the Zambezia province, said people had to be evacuated to avoid death.

Six people have drowned because of flooding since late February. Officials also fear that an outbreak of the waterborne disease cholera will worsen.

Cholera already has killed 42 people in the southern African country in recent weeks.