Malawi – Floods in Northern Region Leave Several Dead and Force Thousands to Evacuate

Heavy rains which have persisted in the Northern and Central regions of Malawi for several days have led to fatal floods in some low-lying areas.

At least ten people are feared dead and hundreds of families displaced. A number of buildings and homes were also reported to have collapsed due to the floods. Many road networks were flooded and rendered impassable.

Mzuzu

According to Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), two people suffered serious injuries when a wall of their house collapsed after heavy rain. Both victims were taken to Mzuzu Central Hospital but both later died. Hospital administrator confirmed the deaths of a ten year old and an eleven month old child.

There are also unconfirmed reports that as many as 10 people have died as a result of floods in districts of Mzuzu.

Karonga

Local radio station, Capital FM Malawi reported earlier today that “over 958 households in Karonga have been relocated to safer areas following continued heavy rains and flooding in the district”.

Local media have reported more than seventy families have been left homeless after floods in Karonga.

Relief Efforts

Relief efforts and help for flood victims appear to have been limited so far. Talking to Malawi 24, District Commissioner for Karonga Rosemary Moyo has expressed worry over the lack of interest from organisations to help the displaced people.

“We are worried that no organisation has come in to assist us as people who have been affected lack a lot of things,” said Moyo.

143 mm of Rain in 24 Hours – More Rain Forecast for Lakeshore and Northern Areas

According to Malawi Meteorological Services, heavy rain was reported in several areas of Karonga district, Northern Region, on 06 April. Ngosi reported 143mm of rainfall in 24 hours. Mwenilondo recorded 125mm, Mwenetete 120.5mm, Mwaulambo 103.6mm, Chinsewe 85mm, Baka 80.5mm, Karonga Airport 76mm, Lupembe 51mm and Nyungwi 44.5mm during the same period.

On the same day Mzuzu reported 25.9mm, Chitipa 25.6mm, Chintheche 19.9mm and Nkhotakota 14.1mm.

On the 07 April, 2016, reports of heavy rainfall were as follows: Kabale Lyamayolo 86.5mm, Mwenilondo 61mm, Chisewe 42mm, Nkhatabay 40mm, Meru 38mm and Njalayankhunda 31mm.

According to the 5-day weather forecast by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, heavy rains are forecast to continue in the northern areas and areas around Lake Malawi.

Malawi suffered some of the worst floods in its history during January 2015. At the peak of the 2015 floods 245 square miles of the country was under water and 120,000 households displaced.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: July 21, 2016
Event
Northern Region, Malawi, April 2016
Date
April 6 to April 10, 2016
Type
Inland flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Several days of heavy rain in the Northern and Central regions of Malawi led to fatal floods in Mzuzu and displaced thousands in Karonga.

Locations

A - Mzuzu
B - Karonga

Magnitude

Rainfall level
143 mm in 24 hours
Ngosi - April 6 to April 7, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
12 people
Mzuzu - April 6 to April 7, 2016
Evacuated
9,000
Karonga - April 5 to April 8, 2016

One thought on “Malawi – Floods in Northern Region Leave Several Dead and Force Thousands to Evacuate

  1. Chapeau to the Malawian Government! They have been very quick to act and the Vice President shown good foresight in his statement where he said Malawians should focus on preventative measures and relocate because this is not the first time it has happened, eg 2015.

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