– owing to the massive destruction to infrastructure and loss of lives in Malawi, President Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Monday declared a State of Disaster
At a time, Tropical Cyclone Freddy appeared timid and its strength diminishing, the phenomenon made its second landfall Saturday in Mozambique before swirling into Malawi Sunday where it has so far killed more than 99 people.
John Cassim reports from Harare, Zimbabwe, that the first landfall occurred exactly two weeks ago and displaced hundreds of people in Madagascar and Mozambique.
27 people died and massive damage to infrastructure was felt in the two countries, posing a huge humanitarian crisis in the region.
Freddy gained strength upon landfall with speeds of between 155km/h and 200km/h resulting in blown off roofs, damaged roads and bridges.
Mudslides then developed and swept away and buried several homes in Blantyre and nine other districts.
– State of Disaster declared in Malawi
Owing to the massive destruction to infrastructure and loss of lives in Malawi, President Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Monday declared a State of Disaster.
“In view of this, His Excellency has exercised his powers vested in him under section 32 (1) of the Disaster and Relief Act (Cap 33:05 of the Laws of Malawi) and declared a State of Disaster in the Southern Region of Malawi,” Collen Zamba, Secretary to the President and Cabinet announced in a statement.
Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Thyolo, Phalombe and Zomba districts have been affected and will be covered by the disaster intervention.
Meanwhile the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in the office of the President and Cabinet said the death toll is massive and increasing.
“In total, 99 deaths have been recorded with 16 people reported missing and 39 camps set.
Currently, councils are conducting assessments to establish the extent of damage and assisting all those in need,” Charles Kalemba, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the department, humanitarian partners and councils are facilitating the provision of relief assistance to affected and displaced households.
Search and rescue operations led by the Malawi Defence Force, the Malawi Police Service, the Department of Marine, the Malawi Red Cross Society and communities are underway.
DoDMA has so far provided blankets, maize flour, beans and soya pieces at Manja and Naotcha camps.