CYCLONE FREDDY IN MALAWI – UPDATE
The country of Malawi recently experienced the onslaught of Cyclone Freddy, the longest-running cyclone in recorded history. While many doubted it would impact Malawi, it caused wide-spread flooding and damage in the areas of Mulanje, Phalombe and Zomba. Even Lake Chilwa flooded due to the heavy amounts of rain, making rescue efforts difficult.
Tropical Cyclone Freddy’s death toll has reached 511 in Malawi, a statement from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) said. In an update on the 22nd of March 2023, the DoDMA said the number of displaced people was at 562,415 with 576 camps set to accommodate the displaced.
Many different non-governmental organisations and the government have come with relief items to help those in dire need. The areas hit the hardest are Blantyre, Mulanje, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Zomba, Chikwawa and Nsanje.
The Church of the Nazarene Malawi South and Lowershire Districts are the Nazarene districts that have been the worst-hit. According to the District Superintendent of Malawi South District, in his district alone, 8 church buildings and 3,657 houses collapsed due to the cyclone. The districts are currently mobilising resources from local church members and other well-wishers to support the victims. One church on the night of 14 March when there was great devastation, provided refuge to hundreds of people who came at night to sleep at the church and school blocks in fear for their lives since their houses collapsed.
We thank God for the quick response by all pastors and church leaders to open the church buildings for the victims to find shelter.