Last Updated: Saturday, January 17, 2015

Malawi flood kills 176; 153 missing: National tragedy

The death toll from floods in Malawi has risen to 176 and made 200,000 homeless, Vice President Saulos Chilima said Friday. "At least 153 people are missing", Chilima told a news conference.

The flood statistics was out when Chilima visited over the worst affected Lower Shire districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa in the south.

President Peter Mutharika has called the floods a "national tragedy that urgently needs both local and international response".


Earlier news reported, Malawai flood claiming lives of at least 48 people with flash floods wreaking havoc in 10 out of 23 districts.

According to Aljazeera, Mutharika has appealed to the international community for assistance for the impoverished country. "Government alone cannot afford to help so I appeal to the international community for urgent assistance," he said.

President Mutharika has already declared disaster zone for Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Zomba, Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mulanje, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Salima, Rumphi and Koranga districts of Malwai.

The government has also warned of the impact the floods would have on health services, fearing the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid.

Malawi Department of the Meteorological Services and Climate Change has warned more rainfall in the northern and central areas. The government has urged people living in flood-prone districts to urgently relocate to upper areas.

Photo: Villagers stand near a flooding street in a township on the outskirts of Blantyre in Malawi. (AFP: Bonex Julius)

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