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  • Floods render Kamuzu Bridge on the Shire River in Chikwawa in the Southern Region of Malawi impassable.

    Floods render Kamuzu Bridge on the Shire River in Chikwawa in the Southern Region of Malawi impassable. | Photo: @MalawiGovt

Published 14 March 2019

President Mutharika has canceled an upcoming trip to affected areas due to forecasts that have put the country on alert for Tropical Cyclone Isai, which is predicted to hit in the coming days.

Severe flooding in southern Malawi and parts of Mozambique have resulted in over 100 deaths, more than 500 injuries and at least 80,000 people displaced. Last week, heavy rains and winds destroyed thousands of homes, as well as disrupt power and water supplies in certain areas.

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While many affected areas have been provided food and shelter by the government and humanitarian charities, some, especially rural areas, such as Makina, have yet to be reached by aid. The locals are pleading for help, relating to suffering being faced due to food shortages and flooding that have destroyed their crops, especially maize. 

Locals from the Makina area recounted that the rain began while they were sleeping, resulting in people waking up to noticeable water levels increasing rapidly. The flooding forced residents to seek higher ground and await rescue by boats.

Makina residents found shelter in a partially built hospital.

A spokesperson for Malawi's Department of Disaster Management, Chipiliro Khamula, says "most of the displaced families are living in camps.

So far, a total of 187 camps have been established in the affected districts."

Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika, who has been visiting communities affected by the storms, reassured that funding for cement and iron sheets being alotted for rebuildng. The head of state also urged for patience since the process will "take time." 

Mutharika has was forced to cancel an upcoming trip after forecasts put the country on alert for Tropical Cyclone Isai, which is predicted to hit in the coming days.

According to the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, the cyclone will start in Mozambique, travel to southern Malawi and then hit Zimbabwe.

Despite forecasts, several structures are being rebuilt using natural materials such as sticks, reeds and mud; which are susceptible to being washed away easily. 

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