“For several hours, I was stuck in a tree with my children until this man saved us”, Jania Scot, a victim, had reportedly narrated how a canoe man had rescued her after cyclone hit Makhanga, a city in the southern part of Malawi. This is even as the country’s President had declared a state of disaster while appealing for international support. Cyclone Freddy is a tropical cyclone, is extremely long, powerful, destructive and deadly. According to records, it often affects regions like Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and other African regions in its path.
According to reports, many villagers, especially women and children, are still stuck in trees at Tchereni graveyard, even as the city’s agriculture training centre was affected. As of press time, the United Nations has confirmed that more than 11,000 people were affected by the storm. Despite the fact that death toll has risen to over 100, a commissioner at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba, while addressing a press conference said; “We expect the number to rise”. Meanwhile, the number of missing people are yet to be ascertained as many were reportedly trapped in buildings, even as heavy floods, as a result of the cyclone, had swept an entire village in Chiradzulu, submerging their farms and property.
Earlier, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services had sent warning to Malawians, particularly in the southern region, to be ready as tropical cyclone Freddy would be hitting hard with torrential rainfall and strong winds, after Freddy had hid Madagascar, two weeks earlier. Updates have it that some impacts are now being felt in southern Mozambique, as a landslide hit a community recently with spreading torrential tropical rain. “The injuries were mostly from falling trees, landslides and flash floods. Homes are gone, some were buried alive”, a flood victim said.