Cyclone Freddy death toll in Malawi rises to nearly 100: Disaster agency

Cyclone Freddy death toll in Malawi rises to nearly 100: Disaster agency
# 14 March 2023 04:35 (UTC +04:00)

Nearly 100 people have died in Malawi's southern districts after Cyclone Freddy made a rare return to southern Africa with torrential rains that triggered flooding, the country's disaster agency said Monday, APA reports citing media.

"The death toll, including in other districts that have been hit in the southern region, has risen to 99... but we expect the number to rise," Charles Kalemba, a commissioner at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, told a press conference.

Another 134 people sustained various injuries, and 16 are reported missing after Freddy, on track to become one of the longest-lasting cyclones on record, barrelled through southern Africa at the weekend for the second time within weeks, making a comeback after first hitting in late February.

Malawi's commercial capital of Blantyre recorded 85 deaths.

More than 10,000 people were affected by the storm, Kalemba said.

The impact of the cyclone has piled more woes on a country grappling with the deadliest cholera outbreak in its history, which has killed over 1,600 people since last year.

"Severe weather events such as these are likely to exacerbate the spread of water-borne diseases like cholera," the UN children's agency UNICEF warned in a statement.

President Lazarus Chakwera has declared a state of disaster for the southern region of Malawi.

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