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Six killed while further 1,000 people displaced in Malawi floods  

LILONGWE Malawi (Xinhua) -- At least four men and two women have died, while over 1,000 people have been left homeless following floods that hit parts of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, on Saturday evening.

Preliminary assessment indicates that 202 households have been affected but the the number could rise as the assessment is still being carried out, according to Public Relations Officer for the country’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Chipiliro Khamula, on Monday.

The flooding which resulted from a heavy and stormy downpour affected areas close to river banks the most.

The country’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, who also serves as Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs in the country, visited the affected areas on Sunday morning to assess the situation and delivered a message of condolence from the country’s President Peter Mutharika to the bereaved families.

Chilima said that the government would provide coffins, food and other logistical arrangements, and expressed wish that the death toll would not rise.

He said: “We pray that the number does not increase since a few more people are still missing and search operation to find them is underway.”

“We have adequate supplies (of relief items) in our warehouse at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA),” he added.

Meanwhile, Malawi Red Cross Society, Lilongwe City Council and DoDMA officials are assessing the situation on the ground to come up with a comprehensive report of the impact of the floods.



Central and northern Mozambique under orange alert for rain

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The government of Mozambique through its Disaster Management Technical Council issued on Thursday in Maputo the institutional orange alert for the central and northern regions of the country currently battered by heavy rain.

The alert activates committees to intensify prevention and response measures in the areas that are already being affected by the rain namely the northern provinces of Nampula, Niassa, Cabo Delgado and the central provinces of Zambezia, Tete, Manica and Sofala.

“From October to date we have registered 8 victims hit by meteorological disaster,” said Paulo Tomas, spokesperson of National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) speaking to the press.

With the orange alert active local officials and committees for disaster management are called to be fully on alert, and take proactive measures such as mobilizing communities living in areas already identified as vulnerable to the disasters.

“In Sofala province for instance, there is a boat from INGC already helping people providing transport services and goods from one side to the other,” said Tomas.

According to the spokesperson, INGC statistics indicate that over 21,000 people were affected by the rain since the rainy season started in October this year, 239 homes were totally destroyed while more than 3,500 were partially destroyed, and nearly 380 houses are flooded.

Significant damages were registered in Nampula province to classrooms, churches and shops, and more destruction is expected as rain will continue falling.

On December 19, government authorities approved 16.9 million U.S. dollars for the contingency plan, the amount will be spent on monitoring activities and issuing warnings for disasters, and also on providing humanitarian assistance to more than one million people.



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