from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – THE death toll in Malawi following the landfall of Tropical Cyclone Freddy has risen to 225.
About 186 000 people have been affected, including at least 88 000 who have been displaced, as confirmed by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).
The toll could be higher, as the statistics were as of Wednesday this week still soaring.
Some 700 people have been injured following heavy rains and strong winds attributed to the Freddy weather system since Monday.
At least 85 of those killed due to mudslides in Cilobwe township in Blantyre district.
“These figures are expected to rise in the days ahead as further information becomes available, especially in areas that have been cut off from communications, and the situation evolves,” said a spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Ministry of Water and Sanitation has forecast further flooding as possible in the days ahead, as water levels in areas surrounding the Shire and Ruo Rivers and Lake Chilwa were still rising.
On Tuesday, President Lazarus Chakwera declared a State of Disaster in the Southern Region, particularly in Blantyre City and District as well as the districts of Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Zomba City and District.
“We will not relent but support everyone affected. Efforts also intensified to account for those still missing,” Chakwera assured.
The Ministry of Education has extended the temporary suspension of classes in the ten schools at-risk districts, to 17 March as Freddy has caused damage in some schools and others are being used as accommodation centres for displaced people.
Relief efforts are hampered as a result of damaged roads and bridges.
In Madagascar, at least 17 people have died while in Mozambique, ten have been killed following the landfall of Freddy.
– CAJ News