Flooding in Malawi has killed more than 176 people, displaced at least 200,000 others and left homes and schools submerged in water and roads washed away, the vice president of the southern African nation said on Friday.
Downriver in neighboring Mozambique, floodwater’s have left at least 176 people dead, according to Mozambican news agency AIM, displaced tens of thousands and damaged the main road linking the north and south of the country.
Dozens of people are missing in Malawi, with at least 153 unaccounted for in the worst affected southern parts of the country, Vice President Saulos Chilima said.
“It’s a very bad situation,” he said, speaking at a press conference in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre.
The United Nations World Food Program said it plans to airlift more than 100 metric tons of food to the southern African to feed at least 77,000, but added in a statement that accessing Malawi’s southern districts has been “extremely difficult.”
Meanwhile, Malawi Vice President Saul Chilima announced that rescue workers had taken into safety more than 800 flood victims in Nsanje and Chikwawa districts in the south of the country.
He added that rising water levels were impeding efforts by army helicopters to reach a number of areas.
Mozambique is frequently hit by floods. In 2000 the country experienced its worst flood, in which more than 800 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were made homeless when waters severely submerged whole towns.
Malawi’s government said it is working on a disaster preparedness strategy.