Malawian president attends funeral of cyclone victims

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Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera appealed for support as he attended the funeral of some of the victims of Cyclone Freddy in the southern city of Blantyre.

“Malawi is in a state of disaster. What Cyclone Freddy has done is to pull us back even when we were trying to rebuild because of past tragedies. And I appeal to the international community to please look at us with such favor because we need help”, Lazarus Chakwera said in an appeal to the international community.

Report says the cyclone has killed at least 225 people in Malawi’s southern region including Blantyre, the country’s financial hub.

While another 88,000 people are displaced.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Mozambique, officials say at least 20 people have died since the storm made landfall in the port town of Quelimane on Saturday night.

However, over 45,000 people are still holed up in shelters, with about 1,300 square kilometres still underwater, according to the EU’s Copernicus satellite system.

Clemence Dambe, a member of one of the bereaved families, said his family lost 14 relatives to the storm.

“We have been deeply touched by the death of our brother and his wife. He has died along with his five male children. Another male member of our family together with his wife and two children have also passed bringing the number of lost relatives to 14 in our family”, said Dambe, a member of one of the bereaved families.

UN Coordinator in Malawi, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh described the situation as ‘unimaginable.’

“There are people who are trapped, we can’t access the places, Phalombe and other places. Please, Malawi needs your support”, she added.

Mr. Chakwera has declared 14 days of national mourning with flags flying at half-mast for the first seven days.


AFRICANEWS/Christopher Ojilere

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