Lightning strikes kill 26 people in Malawi


The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) says 26 people have died due to lightning strikes since the start of the current rainy season.

DODMA has also recorded 13 deaths that occurred as a result of collapsed walls due to strong winds and stormy rains.

Twenty-one of the 39 departed persons are males while 18 are females. The department has also registered a total of 245 injuries (145 females and 100 males). The injuries are mainly due to strong winds, stormy rains and lightning occurrences.

Commissioner for Department Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba, revealed the figures in Lilongwe today during a press briefing under the banner Government Faces Press.

Weather experts in Malawi usually advise people to seek shelter indoors or in completely enclosed structures during thunderstorms in order to avoid lightning strikes.

Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone ANA is expected to hit Malawi this week.

Deputy Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Lucy Ntilatila, said the Cyclone is in Mozambique channel from where it is going to move towards Malawi, entering through Mulanje.

She added that although the centre is far from Malawi, the cyclone has already started affecting the country and the effects are huge.

She, therefore, advised the public to move to safer and higher areas, avoid crossing flooded rivers and walking through running water as well as staying away from power lines and electrical wires among other measures to reduce damages due to disasters.