Cyclone death toll hits 326


The number of people that have died due to Tropical Cyclone Freddy has reached 326, up from 225, President Lazarus Chakwera disclosed in his evening address from Sanjika Palace Thursday.

He further indicated that the number of displaced people has more than doubled to 183,159, with that of households displaced by the natural phenomenon now at 40,702.

The number of people that are missing has also gone up, from 41 on Wednesday to 201.


Seven and ninety-six other people sustained injuries.

Chakwera said, recognising the enormous nature of the disaster, the government has set up a total of 317 camps across the Southern Region, where up to 10 districts were affected by the cyclone.

“The need is enormous. This is why I am appealing to all of you, who are able to help, to adopt a camp and commit your support in accordance with the needs of that camp and we will produce a comprehensive report of everything that you donate to Dodma [Department of Disaster Management Affairs] so that you know how it was used.


“I will jealously protect your generous donations from abuse because I know how desperately these supplies are needed. In fact, [I will demand accountability] even for other non-State actors who are raising money and supplies for those in need,” he said.

Chakwera said he will today be meeting a group of local businesspeople who have pledged to raise enough money to help the government address problems associated with the cyclone.

“This is the kind of spirit we need in order to rise from this calamity and this is why I have named this entire operation ‘Operation Tigwirane Manja’. So let’s continue working together until we emerge stronger and more united from this disaster,” he said.

In Mulanje, the cyclone has displaced over 37,000 people from over 8,800 homes, killed 89 people, injured 41 people, with 155 people still missing.

In Chiradzulu, the cyclone has displaced over 3,500 people from 785 homes, killed 10 people and injured 62 people.

Earlier in the day, Chakwera assured survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy of the government’s unwavering support as they recover from the disaster.

The President dedicated the whole day yesterday visiting survivors of the natural phenomenon and touring damaged roads in some districts of the Southern Region.

The First Citizen started off at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, where he lauded medical personnel for providing top notch care to those that have been injured.

“It has been overwhelming. The doctors, nurses and all other medical personnel are traumatised; they, too, have never seen anything like this.

“And, so, as much as we know there are gaps in terms of personnel [and equipment, they have done their best. I am extremely grateful to see a team that is working together from various departments because of an emergency like this and, so, while we look for help, I think we should applaud those that are here doing the great work, he said.

From there, he toured Limbuli where Muloza Bridge, which connects Malawi and Mozambique, has been washed away.

Cheering about 4,348 people who are camping at Mitawa Primary School in Limbuli, Mulanje District, Chakwera said the government will ensure speedy help for them.

“This has affected us all. The damage caused by the cyclone is traumatising and devastating to us all. Government will keep pushing and mobilising resources to help you,” he said.

Addressing people at Nkando Trading Centre, Chakwera said the government will ensure that support is rendered equally to affected people.

Chakwera completed his tour for the day at Nguludi Mission Hospital.

Thirty-six-year-old Mary Mwanyali from Nkando appealed for more support.

“We have nowhere to go and are in need of help urgently. I have six children, the youngest being five months old. We all need support,” she said.

Luwiza Mwala, whose husband is still missing, said she cannot believe it that water, which is supposed to be a source of life, has brought devastation to her life.

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