Six people have reported been killed and property, houses and crops destroyed due to flooding caused by heavy rains, according to Paul Chiunguzeni, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs.
“The reports we have are that so far, six people are feared dead, four in Mangochi while two in Zomba. The number might go up,” said Chiunguzeni.
“In most places, houses and crops have been completely destroyed,” he said.
Mangochi District Commissioner Bester Mandele said heavy rains have left “thousands of people homeless due to the floods” and that more houses are collapsing as the rains continues to pour.
The district estimates that some 500 families have been displaced by the rains and in need of immediate help. At least 1 000 hectares of crops have also been washed away.
In Blantyre, some 540 families have lost their homes due to a hailstorm and floods.
There is also an alert that Luo River is southern Malawi is rising and the government officials have been dispatched to evacuate people living along the river.
Chiunguzeni said a meeting is being held in the capital Lilongwe, where the government will review a budget for Disaster Response.
“We had a budget of (Malawi kwacha) MK150 million or about $300 000. But this budget has been exhausted,” he said.
He said his department will be asking for additional funding amounting to MK100 million ($200 000) to help it respond to the crisis.
“This is a national crisis because we have all these cases at the beginning of the rain season. We only hope the situation does not get worse than this,” Chiunguzeni said.
Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has since appealed to Malawians to pray for those affected and has deployed Vice-President Saulos Chilimato assess the situation.
Mutharika is yet to declare a state of emergency due to flooding.
Malawi’s rain season begins in October and ends in April.
The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has warned of high rainfall amounts which will eventually trigger flash floods in the country for the next two to three weeksFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :