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Blantyre (Malawi), March 15 – The death toll has risen to 190 in Malawi as more bodies were recovered following the damages caused by tropical cyclone Freddy that has now affected 12 districts and cities in the southern African nation, according to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).
The DoDMA made the announcement in its Tuesday afternoon update, with commissioner Charles Kalemba saying 158 people have died in Blantyre, the country’s commercial city, alone.
The tropical cyclone started to impact Malawi on Monday after it entered the province of Zambezia in Mozambique on Friday, causing flooding, mudslides and strong winds damages in Malawi’s 12 districts and cities, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the DoDMA, nationwide, 584 people have been injured and 37 people have been reported missing, including three soldiers on a rescue team after their boat hit a tree and capsized. The updated report also said about 58,946 people have been affected, with nearly 19,371 of them displaced.
Fifty-seven camps have been set to accommodate the displaced as rescue operations continue in the affected areas.
Meanwhile, the government has extended the suspension of schools in the affected districts to March 17.
President Lazarus Chakwera cut short his visit to South Africa where he transited from the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Doha, Qatar and returned to Malawi on Tuesday. Upon arrival at the Kamuzu International Airport, the Malawi leader described Cyclone Freddy’s impact as “saddening” and said he would visit the affected areas and people.
Teams comprising staff from the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service, Marine Department and Malawi Red Cross Society have been deployed to carry out rescue operations in the affected districts.