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Malawi: Death toll from cyclone Freddy rises to 438

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Blantyre (Malawi), March 18 (IANS) More bodies have been recovered in Malawi hit by cyclone Freddy, raising the death toll to at least 438, the country’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs has said.

The cumulative number of injured people has reached 918, with another 282 reported missing, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday quoting Charles Kalemba, commissioner of Department of Disaster Management Affairs.

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Around 3,45,183 people (or 79,602 households) have been displaced and 505 camps have been set up to accommodate them.

The commissioner said his department, humanitarian partners and councils “continue to facilitate the provision of relief assistance to affected and displaced households, with 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 underway”.

He added that the Malawi Police Service has deployed sniffer dogs for search and rescue, and recovered nine bodies in the town of Chilobwe.

Foreign missions, governments, local and international organisations, companies and individuals of goodwill are rendering support to Malawi, after Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera declared a state of disaster earlier in the week, the commissioner said.

–IANS

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