Cyclone Freddy: death toll jumps to 507


The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says the death toll as a result of Cyclone Freddy has risen to 507 from 499 while 537 people are still missing.

This is according to DoDMA’s Tuesday Cyclone Freddy update in which Commissioner Charles Kalemba reported that the search and rescue team across the affected districts in the southern region has recovered eight new dead bodies.

Commissioner Kalemba said the number of displaced people in the affected areas is now at 553,614 from 508,244, with injuries jumping to 1,332 from 1,332 which was recorded as of Monday, 20th March.

“As of today, 21st March 2023, the number of displaced people is at 553,614 with 543 camps set to accommodate the displaced. The death toll has risen from 499 to 507 with 1,332 injuries. The number of reported missing persons is at 537 from 427,” reads part of the statement.

DoDMA says the Malawi Defence Force (MDF), the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the United Kingdom search and rescue/recovery teams are continuing with their daily operations.

According to the statement, in Chilobwe, Blantyre District, the MDF and the MPS have recovered 50 dead bodies since they started search and recovery operations on 14th March.

The department further says helicopters dispatched by the governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Zambia are still airlifting relief assistance to areas that are inaccessible by road and water.

It is also reported that the helicopters are also airlifting people in need of medical attention from affected districts to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).

DoDMA further reports that the national inter-agency assessment team, which has been supporting affected councils with assessments to establish the total number of affected people and their immediate needs, will finalise their mission on Friday, 24th March, 2023 and the data will inform the finalisation of the response plan, which the department and partners have been developing.

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