LONDON

Britain bracing for severe flooding from rains, high tides

LONDON — Britain is bracing for severe flooding in Wales and southwestern England because of heavy rain and a coastal surge brought on by winds gusting at up to 80 miles (129 kilometers) an hour.

Fourteen severe flood warnings were in place in England and Wales before noon local time, indicating danger to life, according to the Environment Agency website. Another 178 flood warnings were in place in England and Wales, with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency issuing 38 more. Natural Resources Wales, another government agency, warned of the highest tides since 1997.

The floods add to the winter misery for Britons after a storm that struck on Dec. 23 left more than half a million homes without electricity and inundated swaths of southern England.

The U.K. Met Office placed Northern Ireland and most of the west coast of Great Britain under a “yellow” warning, the lowest of three grades, for either wind, rain, or both.

Wet and windy conditions are likely across Northern Ireland, Scotland and western England and Wales, the Met Office said.

HARARE, Zimbabwe

Tons of corn being imported as 2.2 million face starvation

Zimbabwe’s agriculture ministry says it is importing 150,000 tons of corn, the nation’s staple food, from neighboring South Africa to avert a looming food crisis as millions face starvation.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Davis Marapira said Friday the government had so far received 300 tons which will be distributed to hard-hit parts of the country, state media reported.

The United Nations estimates at least 2.2 million Zimbabweans will need food assistance before the next harvest in April.

– From news service reports