Cyclone Freddy: Malawi Declares State Of Disaster In 10 Districts
The President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, on Monday, declared a “state of disaster” in the southern region of the country after floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy killed at least 99 people.
Heavy rains and strong winds destroyed houses, washed away roads and bridges, flattened crop fields and disrupted power generation.
Chakwera also appealed for help locally and globally for the tens of thousands of people who have been left without food and shelter. He said:
Government is already responding to the emergencies, rendering urgent assistance to all affected districts, and appealing for local and international support for all the families affected by this disaster.
The state of disaster has been declared in the following districts: Blantyre City and District, Chikwawa District, Chiradzulu District, Mulanje District, Mwanza District, Neno District, Nsanje District, Thyolo District, Phalombe District, and Zomba City and District.
Malawi’s Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba, told CNN that rescue efforts have been compounded by the rains that have continued to pound the country. He said:
We are still having a lot of rain coming down. We are now experiencing landslides, flash floods, and stones rolling down some hills. Because of the weather, rescue efforts are not easy.
In some of the places we have to go and rescue people, it’s not easy to get there. It’s tough but we are making sure we do the job that we need to do.
Schools in the 10 southern districts will remain closed until Wednesday, Malawi’s education ministry said in a statement Sunday
Tropical Cyclone Freddy has broken records for the longest-lasting storm of its kind after travelling thousands of kilometres since it emerged on 6 February.
The cyclone has been described as a “very rare” storm by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which called its journey so far “incredible and dangerous.”
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