No further information immediately available.
Published Monday, March 18, 2019
Twenty-three people have died and 11 are missing due to flood-prone areas in the southern parts of Malawi.
Heavy rains have hit the region and caused havoc to people, houses and gardens in over a week of the rains.
The development has forced President Peter Mutharika to declare a disaster zone in the affected districts, Maravi Post has learned.
According to the Department of Disaster and Management (Dodma), 29 people have sustained severe injuries of various while 22 000 are now homeless.
The districts of Chikhwawa and Nsanje have since been cut off due to the heavy rains and flooding. Dodma says the affected districts include Phalombe, Blantyre, Chikhwawa, Nsanje, Neno, Mwanza, Zomba.
Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani said President Mutharika is "very concerned" with the situation and has meanwhile directed Dodma and the Ministry of Homeland Security to "urgently mobilize and coordinate emergency relief services to those affected."
In a press statement, President Mutharika has also directed that the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) should swiftly move in and assist those trapped and displace by the floods and the rains of terror.
Briefing journalists at Parliament Building in Lilongwe before presenting his report on disasters affecting the country, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi said the government was already deploying army helicopters and rescue boats to Nsanje.
Weather experts say the rains, which started on Sunday, will continue in the coming days and flash floods.
The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (MET) director, Jolam Nkhokwe, attributed the severe weather conditions to low-pressure area in Mozambique moving over to Malawi.
"The air mass has come over and we expect the rains to continue up to Saturday when the air mass will be heading back to Mozambique," he said. Nkhokwe said the rains could cause floods, and destroy property and endanger life.
Malawi Flash Flood Facts
Affected Area: 500 km.
Alert Level: Green