Severe flooding caused extensive damage to southern Malawi over the past couple of days, resulting in the deaths of at least four people and leaving three others missing, according to local authorities.
One person has been confirmed dead and two others are still missing after being swept away by floodwaters in Blantyre City. In Lundi, two children were rescued by a search and rescue team after being trapped in flooded water. In Chiradzulu, three of the five victims who were dragged by fast-flowing water after attempting to cross a flooded river were found dead, while the search for the remaining two victims continues.
Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and local government authorities have provided relief assistance to over 16 000 affected households, including food, tents, housing units, kitchen utensils, and plastic sheets for temporary roofing. Complete damage assessments are ongoing.
The worst affected were Blantyre and Chiradzulu District Councils, where floods caused significant damage to roads, bridges, houses, and other properties.
Member of Parliament for Blantyre City East, John Bande, has described the flooding and devastation caused by a heavy downpour in Machinjiri as traumatizing.
The southern region of Malawi is experiencing severe weather conditions as part of a larger crisis that has affected almost 100 000 people since the start of the rainy season in November 2022. The disasters, which include storms, heavy rains, floods, strong winds, hailstorms, and lightning, have resulted in the deaths of 62 people and injured 185 others. The country’s roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals have all suffered damage.
In addition to the flooding, Malawi is also facing a public health crisis, with a significant increase in the number of cases of cholera across all 29 health districts, putting over 10 million people at risk, including more than five million children.
The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, along with Malawi’s Ministry of Health, reported 42 427 cumulative confirmed cases of cholera and 1 384 deaths as of February 12. Around 600 new cases are being reported daily, and the case fatality rate remains high at 3.3%.
1 Floods in Malawi – DG ECHO – February 15, 2023
2 Malawi – 4 Dead as Floods Cause Major Damage in Blantyre – Floodlist – February 14, 2023
Featured image credit: Zodiak Online
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