Lilongwe, March 21 (IANS) The death toll from tropical cyclone Freddy in Malawi has increased reached 499, with the number of displaced people reaching 508,244.
Search and rescue operations are ongoing, undertaken by the Malawi Defence Force, the Malawi Police Service and the UK with support from neighbouring countries, including Tanzania and Zambia, reports Xinhua news agency.
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Late Monday night, Commissioner for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs Charles Kalemba said that one more camp has been set to accommodate the displaced people, bringing the total number of camps to 534.
The number of injuries has risen to 1,332, while 427 people are reported missing.
The number of affected districts and cities is now 15 from the initial 12 in the southern region, with three more districts in the eastern region receiving more heavy rains even after Cyclone Freddy died out.
After Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera declared a state of disaster in the affected districts, foreign missions, governments, local and international organisations, companies and individuals have mobilised to support the response operations and provide humanitarian aid.
Southern African Development Community has since approved $300,000 dollars for humanitarian assistance to Malawi, announced Monday by the regional bloc’s Executive Secretary, Elias Magosi.
The Freddy weather system has continued to move over land as a tropical depression, with a localised centre close to the border between Mozambique and the southern tip of Malawi.
Freddy’s first Mozambique landfall was on February 24.
That landfall followed early February floods, impacting more than 43,000 people.