At least 918 dead, 282 missing in Malawi after Cyclone Freddy hits

At least 918 dead, 282 missing in Malawi after Cyclone Freddy hits

On March 17, 2023, Malawi Defence Force, MDF soldiers and civilians work to recover body from a mudslide that resulted due to heavy rains attributed to MDF and Malawi Police Service rescue operation at Manje informal settlement up the slopes of Soche Hill in Blantyre, southern Malawi. PHOTO AFP The country's Department of Disaster Management Affairs DoDMA confirmed the figures in its sixth update Saturday evening, revealing 918 people have been injured and 282 are missing.

The Malawi Defence Force MDF, the Malawi Police Service and rescue teams, are continuing their operations. The MDF is also airlifting relief items, medical supplies and personnel to places that are not accessible by road, according to the DoDMA update.

In his televised national address Saturday evening after visiting two affected eastern districts of Zomba and Machinga, Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera said that some foreign missions, governments, local and international organizations, and individuals have responded to his appeal for help after he declared a state of disaster in the affected districts and cities.

He appealed for more humanitarian support, saying the situation in the camps and areas affected by the storm is dire.

The country's Ministry of Education has extended the suspension of schools in the southern region until March 31, as about 230 schools have been turned into holding camps for internally displaced communities.

Cyclone Freddy hit southern Malawi's southern districts hard from the night of Sunday through Tuesday, causing strong winds, floods and mudslides, killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands in its wake.