Floods hit Malawi: M1 road cut off, families trapped, one person dead

… Teams deployed to rescue trapped people


Moderate Tropical Storm ANA has caused damage in the Southern Region where M1 Road and Chapananga Bridge on the Chikwawa-Mwanza Road have been cut-off.

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says the strong winds and floods induced by ANA have left one person dead in Mulanje and families trapped.

DoDMA has released a statement based on preliminary reports from councils in relation to damages caused by effects of Moderate Tropical Storm ANA.

Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Charles Kalemba said DoDMA has received rapid assessment reports on flooding and strong winds damages from Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe and Mulanje District Councils.

Reports from Mulanje indicate that one person has died and 30 have sustained various degree of injuries following ANA-induced heavy rains that have led to flooding and collapsed houses. The reports further indicate that nine Traditional Authorities (TAs) have been affected and in the meantime, displaced households have sought refuge in churches and schools.

In Chikwawa, the M1 Road has been cut-off at Thabwa, and Nchalo, with TAs Lundu, Kasisi, Maseya, Mulilima and Ngowe heavily affected by flooding. Reports also indicate that Chapananga Bridge on the Chikwawa-Mwanza Road has its approaches cut-off.

Flooded area following heavy rain

In Nsanje, Makhanga and Nyachikadza areas have been cut-off with some households feared to be trapped by floods in Nyachikadza.

In Phalombe, TAs Jenala, Namasoko and Phweremwe have been heavily affected causing the Mwanga-Jenala Road impassable.

Meanwhile, DODMA has deployed a search and rescue team comprising the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service, the Department of Marine, the Malawi Red Cross Society and other stakeholders to assist in rescuing people feared to be trapped.

“The department is also establishing an emergency operation centre in Blantyre, to coordinate and ease response operations in the wake of ANA, which is expected to affect most parts of the southern region,” said Kalemba.

He also stated that DoDMA has readily available relief items in strategic places for provision of assistance to people affected by disasters or those rendered destitute. The department is, in collaboration with councils and various humanitarian organisations, setting camps to accommodate displaced households.