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Storms kill 3, render over 200 families homeless

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Chitipa storm

By Yohane Symon, Patience Lunda, Blessings Makuwira & Samuel Duncan:

Heavy winds and rains have killed three people and rendered over 200 families homeless in three districts.

In Mchinji, two people have died and four others severely injured due to stormy rains that hit some villages in traditional authorities Mavwere and Simphasi.

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Relief and Rehabilitation Officer for Mchinji District, Violet Jimu, said over 200 families are currently stranded and in need of food and non-food assistance.

Heavy rains also hit Ipenza Village in Chitipa District Friday where 40 families in the area of Senior Chief Kameme have had their homes destroyed.

Chitipa District Council spokesperson, Bishop Witmos, said a district civil protection committee is on the ground to assess the extent of the damage.

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Other structures affected include a clinic, churches and a school block, according to Witmos.

In Mangochi, a number of households are also homeless after strong winds damaged some houses in the area of Traditional Authority Bwananyambi on Thursday night.

Member of Parliament for the area Lilian Patel said the affected people are currently in need of temporary shelter and some food items.

The district civil protection committee is also assessing the damage to come up with the actual needs which the government, through Department of Disaster Management Affairs, can provide to the affected people.

In a related development, lightning has killed three family members, injuring two others in Tandwe Village under Senior Chief Malengachanzi in Nkhotakota.

Nkhotakota Police Station Public Relations Officer Paul Malimwe said the three, whose ages range from seven to 30, died in the early hours of Friday after their house caught fire following the incident.

According to Malimwe, the two who sustained burn wounds have been treated as out-patients at Mpamantha Health Centre in the district.

In January this year, Malawi was hit by Tropical Storm Ana. The storm lashed parts of Southern and Central region bringing severe flooding which caused significant damage to homes, livelihoods, social and public infrastructure, and displacement.

On 11 February a second tropical storm, Gombe, again brought heavy rainfall to Southern Malawi resulting in further flooding, bringing more damage, and in some cases causing the secondary displacement of families in camps.

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