Malawi declares state of disaster as nearly 200 killed


President Lazarus Chakwera has declared a state-of-disaster in several southern districts of Malawi, including Blantyre, the commercial hub.

The move is part of efforts geared towards tackling the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy, as casualties from the aftermath of the storm continue to rise.

According to a statement released by the presidency, “the president is gravely concerned about the devastation caused by the cyclone and its impact on most districts.”

Freddy, one of the longest-lasting storms on record, barrelled through southern Africa over the weekend, making a comeback, after a first hit in late February.

Blantyre city was hit the most with regional Police Spokeswoman, Beatrice Mikuwa, noting that at least 36 bodies have been recovered in the township of Chilobwe, with dozens of houses being washed away.

The Red Cross reported that over 60 bodies were found in southern Malawi, where heavy downpours triggered flooding.

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs reported on late Monday that 99 people have lost their lives and approximately 10,000 have been affected, adding that vast areas of crop land and livestock washed away.

The nation is still reeling, with many parts of the country left in darkness, as utility company Electricity Supply Corp of Malawi struggles to restore power.

The government is already responding to the disaster, and it has appealed for both local and international relief aid to assist the affected families.

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