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People standing in mud amidst the destruction of their homes.

Cyclone Freddy leaves thousands homeless in Malawi

Islamic Relief provides aid as Cyclone Freddy leaves thousands homeless in Malawi.


Islamic Relief is preparing to distribute emergency aid in Malawi as Cyclone Freddy rips through the country, leaving at least 200 people dead so far and sweeping away houses.

The strongest tropical storm to hit the southern hemisphere has forced thousands of people from their homes and cut off power supplies for essential services. The Malawi government today declared a state of emergency. The poorest families are most affected as their homes are just made of mud and cloth and are easily destroyed, and the death toll is expected to rise further over the coming days. Farmers’ crops have also been badly damaged by the floods.

Islamic Relief’s team on the ground is planning to provide aid in areas that are immediately accessible. Some areas are still completely cut off due to floods and landslides, and roads and bridges have collapsed.

Our initial response will provide 3,600 people with tents or plastic sheets for emergency shelter, blankets, soap and chlorine for treating water, and vouchers so that people can buy food. The response will prioritise vulnerable people including pregnant women, new mothers and people with disabilities.

Christopher Malamba, an Islamic Relief Project Officer, just visited devastated areas in Blantyre and Chiradzulu district. At least 164 deaths are reported so far in Blantyre and 10 in Chiradzulu. He says:

Most of the communities are affected, their fields are waterlogged and their homes have collapsed. Many families have lost their homes and are seeking shelter in schools. The number of deaths is expected to rise as we are in still in the peak of the cyclone, with heavy rains and winds still having a devastating impact.

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