Severe flooding kills 23 in Malawi
Twenty-three people have been confirmed dead in 13 southern Malawi districts following severe flooding resulting from heavy rains accompanied by strong winds, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining said the figures are from preliminary reports collected from various districts including Blantyre.
Heavy rains over the past few days have resulted in severe flooding in most parts of the southern region with people missing and others confirmed dead.
"The department has deployed search and rescue teams in collaboration with the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service and Malawi Red Cross to help in the rescue operation," the statement said.
The department has also deployed 23 trucks of relief items to be distributed in the affected districts, it said.
A press release from the nation's homeland security ministry on Friday also said that 29 people have sustained injuries and 11 others have been reported missing due to the flooding. The floods have also affected over 22,000 households, the release said.
The Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) has had to cut power generation as a preventive measure against damage to its power generation infrastructure.
Power generation has been reduced to around 270 megawatts (MW) from 320MW.
"We have stopped all machines at major power stations [like] Nkula and Kapichira due to flooding and excessive debris at the power stations," a statement released by the company said.
Following the shutdown, most parts of the country are experiencing continuous black outs.
A low pressure system moved into southern Malawi on March 6, causing continuous wide-spread rains accompanied by strong wind.
Jolamu Nkhokwe, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services at the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, said Friday that the low pressure area has greatly impacted on Malawi and Mozambique over the past few days, adding that the heavy rains are forecast to weaken on March 9.
He however warned that rainfall activities are expected to increase in central and northern areas of Malawi due to the presence of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone.