Malawi – Hundreds Displaced, 2 Missing as Floods Hit Lilongwe

Floods hit the Malawi capital Lilongwe during the morning of Friday 10 February, after the Lingadzi River burst its banks following 6 hours of heavy rain on Thursday 09 February.

The Malawi Defense Force used helicopters to carry out around 20 flood rescues. According to a government statement of 11 February, 2 people were missing feared dead. The two were attempting to rescue two children, thought to be siblings trapped in flood water. The siblings were later rescued by helicopter. The fate of the two missing is as yet unclear, although some local media reports claim they were also rescued.

Hundreds of residents were displaced as floods hit homes and damaged roads and bridges. The Malawi government says that around 400 people were forced from their homes and have moved to temporary accommodation, camping at Kamkodola Primary School in Mtandire. The government says around 2,000 people have been affected in the area.

Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima, also Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, visited some of the affected areas on Saturday 11 February. He assured victims of floods in Lilongwe that government will do everything to support them.

Floods in Lilongwe, Malawi, February 2017. Photo: Government of Malawi

Earlier last week heavy rain caused flooding in the district of Salima, Central Region, about 100 km east of Lilongwe.

Around 1,031 people from 248 families have been affected by floods in the area of Traditional Authority Pemba after the Lifidzi river overflowed.

The Vice President also visited affected families in Salima district, where he praised the swift response of the Malawi Defense Force, Police, Red Cross, World Food Program and the community in dealing with the disaster.

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Flood summary

Last updated: February 23, 2017
Event
Central Region, Malawi, February 2017
Date
February 8 to February 12, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Salima
B - Lilongwe

Magnitude

River level
Overflowing
Lingadzi river, Lilongwe - February 9 to February 12, 2017
River level
Overflowing
Lifidzi river, Salima - February 8 to February 10, 2017

Damages

Affected
35,000
Salima - February 8 to February 10, 2017
figures according to ACT Alliance report (link below)
Evacuated
400 people
Lilongwe - February 9 to February 12, 2017