Malawi : refugees swept away by Cyclone Freddy

Malawi : refugees swept away by Cyclone Freddy

Cyclone “Freddy”, with its exceptional longevity, killed more than 400 people in southern Africa, the vast majority of them in Malawi. The toll continues to rise, according to the country’s authorities. Among them, Burundian, Rwandan and Congolese refugees. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Freddy struck twice in a few weeks the southwestern region of the Indian Ocean, killing on its path 73 people in Mozambique, 17 in Madagascar and now 326 in Malawi, according to a latest report announced last week by the president of this country.

“The death toll from this disaster has risen from 225 to 326, the number of displaced people has more than doubled to over 183,000 in Malawi”, said Lazarus Chakwera, traveling to Blantyre (south), commercial capital and epicenter of bad weather.

Among the victims, refugees, said the president of the Dzaleka camp located in the Dowa district (center).

“In Blantyre, there is a strong refugee community and their trade and agriculture. So we were informed that among the victims, there are Burundian, Congolese and Rwandan refugees whose number is not yet known. Some are found dead, others are missing and several have lost their business”, said the head of the Dzaleka camp, who called on refugees to find out about their relatives who died in Blantyre.

Torrential rains caused flooding and landslides. A state of disaster and two weeks of national mourning have been declared, the police and the army deployed.

“The cyclone has destroyed property, homes, crops and infrastructure, including bridges, isolating communities in desperate need of assistance”, said President Chakwera, who reiterated his call for help.

The Head of State called for international assistance in the face of what he described as an “unprecedented national tragedy”.

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