Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Malawi floods kill 56, over 80000 displaced as cyclone approaches

Malawi floods kill 56, over 80000 displaced as cyclone approaches

Floods have already claimed 30 lives and left over 230,000 people without shelter in southern Malawi which borders Mozambique.

Chipiliro Khamula, spokesman for Malawi's Department of Disaster Management, said 56 deaths had been recorded as of Tuesday, as well as 577 injuries. If this scenario is realized, thousands of homes and businesses will be underwater - particularly just south of Beira's airport - with more than 1,000 residents potentially displaced.

The storm threatens a familiar natural disaster in Mozambique, which has already seen deadly floods worsened by devastating hurricanes in both 2000 and 2007.

"Accordingly, all communities in Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Central and other parts of the country that may be affected must maintain vigilance and are advised that every effort must be made to access weather updates and pay particular attention to information needs of people with disabilities and those with chronic illnesses", said the CPU.

"Sixteen accommodation centres have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced", Comoana said. Not only this, over 168 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in Mozambique alone.

A light aircraft has been dispatched with a team of specialists to Malawi to establish the exact humanitarian assistance required. Flood water and food which has been in contact with flood water is not safe.

The wave of cancellations came as the United Nations warned that "tropical cyclone Idai has regained intensity and is expected to make landfall near Beira city in central Mozambique" later Thursday.

DURBAN rescue professionals are on their way to Beira on Mozambique's coastline where Cyclone Idai, the largest one in a decade, is expected to hit tomorrow, Thursday, 14 March.

Cyclone Idai right now has sustained 110 miles per hour winds gusting to above 130 miles per hour, making it the equivalent of a strong Category 2 hurricane. Government authorities in Mozambique have ordered a coastal evacuation and raised the national alert level to "institutional code red", its highest state of emergency.

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