Malawi – 190 Dead, 37 Missing After Floods, Mudslides and Strong Winds From Cyclone Freddy

As many as 190 people have now died in Malawi as a result of floods, mudslides and strong winds brought by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. Meanwhile the search for 37 people still missing continues. Over 4,000 people have been displaced from their homes.

Search and Rescue operations in Malawi, 14 March 2023, following flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. Photo: DoDMA Malawi

In an update of 14 March, Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) said it has received rapid assessment reports on flooding, mudslides and strong winds damages from 12 affected councils namely; Blantyre City, Blantyre District, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mulanje, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Zomba City and Zomba District.

A total of 13, 099 households (approximately 58,946 people) have been affected, out of which 4,305 (approximately 19,371 people) have been displaced. Fifty-seven camps have been set up to accommodate those displaced. The department, humanitarian partners and local councils are continuing to provide relief assistance to affected and displaced households.

DoDMA confirmed a steep rise in the number of fatalities from 99 as reported on 13 March, to 190 as of 14 March. Almost 600 people have been injured and 37 people are still missing.

Search and rescue operations led by the Malawi Defence Force, the Malawi Police Service, the Department of Marine, the Malawi Red Cross Society and communities are ongoing.

POn 14 March the Minister of Local Government, Chimwendo Richard William Banda, the Minister of Finance, Sosten Gwengwe and the Minister of Defence, Harry Mkandawire, visited Mulanje District to observe search and rescue operations being led by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Freddy-induced heavy rains and floods.

Damage caused by Cyclone Freddy in Malawi, March 2023. Photo: Malawi Red Cross Society