Update as of yesterday evening
* The areas expected to be highly impacted (category 10) still remain Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Blantyre, Zomba Neno, Machinga and Mangochi districts
* Some lakeshore districts and some such as Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu and Balaka are likely to fall in either category 9 or 5
* While the remaining of the districts in central and northern areas are in category 2
By Duncan Mlanjira
In its update as of Tuesday evening, the Department of Climate Change & Meteorological Services indicated that Cyclone Freddy is further weakening though it will continue to cause localized rains and windy conditions over parts of Southern Region of Malawi.
“An improvement in weather over Southern Malawi is expected at least from Wednesday evening,” said the weather update. “However, the threat of flooding remains high in some areas.
“Northern and Central areas should expect locally heavy rains due to the influence of Congo Airmass.
“The areas expected to be highly impacted (category 10) still remain Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Blantyre, Zomba Neno, Machinga and Mangochi districts.
“Some lakeshore districts and some such as Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu and Balaka are likely to fall in either category 9 or 5 while the remaining of the districts in central and northern areas are in category 2.
Meanwhile, the Met Department continues to advise the public to:
* Move to higher ground immediately and follow evacuation orders when issued;
* Continous rains and strong winds can cause infrastructures, houses and pit latrines to collapse. Pay attention to falling trees, power lines;
* Stay away from rivers and streams as may rise rapidly and become dangerous during heavy rains;
* Avoid travelling during stormy weather if possible, as driving in strong winds can be dangerous.
The department assures the public that it will continue to monitor the movement and strength and potential impacts of Cyclone Freddy and the nation will be communicated accordingly.
For further information, the public is advised to contact:
The Director; Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services; P.O. Box 1808; Blantyre
Tel:( 265) 882 266 579
WhatsApp: +265 995 155 050
Meanwhile, the NationOnline quotes authorities in Chiradzulu having confirmed that heavy floods as a result of Cyclone Freddy have destroyed all houses in Mtauchira areas of group village headman Manguwo and Màtaka under Traditional Authority (T/A) Likoswe.
The report indicates that the destruction has led to loss of seven lives with 40 people injured while relief & rehabilitation officer, Charity Machika told the NationOnline that they are not sure of the number of people that inhabited the affected land.
She is quoted as saying: “We had a landslide from Chambe mountain which affected this area. We can’t tell how many people are missing as the search continues. All those injured have been taken to either Nguludi Mission Hospital or Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
“The challenge is that another landslide has occured within Chiradzulu mountain, blocking access to the Boma and the district hospital, that is why we have to use these other facilities,” she told the online while saying they are anticipating assistance from wellwishers, some of whom have promised to help.
District Commissioner for Chiradzulu, Francis Matewere is also quoted as saying following the incident at these areas, the total number of people who have lost their lives in the district is now at 10, while those injured are 44.
Two camps have been set up at Nguludi Girls Primary and Montfort Primary schools.
The NationOnline also reports of another worrisome situation in Zomba Chisi due to the flooding of Thondwe, Likangala and Phalombe rivers, with Legislator Mark Botomani saying people need instant help
Although they had Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Marines in the area on Tuesday, Botomani told NationOnline that they would have loved if helicopters were to be deployed, but the weather is not ideal.