At least 32 killed after Tropical Cyclone Ana sweeps across Malawi

In this image made from video, people walk on a road swept by flooding waters in Chikwawa, Malawi, Tuesday Jan. 25, 2022. Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi are counting the deaths and damage by tropical storm Ana and more than a week of heavy rains across southern Africa. (AP Photo)

Malawi has recorded at least 32 deaths caused by the Tropical Cyclone Ana which tore across the country on Tuesday, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) said in a statement on Sunday.

“As of today, DoDMA has recorded 32 deaths, 147 injuries and 20 missing persons, with 19 in Chikwawa and one in Mwanza,” it said, adding that “a total of 187,930 households, approximately 845,685 people, have been affected.”

FILE PHOTO: People walk on a road swept by flooding waters in Chikwawa, Malawi. /AP

Chikwawa and Nsanje are the country’s worst-hit districts, accounting for most of the deaths and damage to houses, property, livestock and crops caused by floods and strong winds induced by Ana. The country’s power supply has also been disrupted.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday declared a state of disaster in 15 districts, and appealed for humanitarian assistance from the international community.

Following the appeal, several organizations including Concern Worldwide, Malawi Red Cross Society, Partners in Health, Feed the Children, and Gift of the Givers have provided relief assistance for the country, according to DoDMA’s Sunday update.

Meanwhile, DoDMA has dispatched over 1,000 metric tons of maize, maize flour, beans and salt to support the affected people living in temporary camps. Search and rescue operations are also underway.

Meanwhile, some other southern African countries have also been hit by the cyclone, with landfall in Angoche, Mozambique, and other destruction in Madagascar and Zimbabwe, the South African Weather Service said in a press release.

Nathan Nkomo, director of Zimbabwe’s department of civil protection, told the Sunday Mail newspaper that the cyclone had left a trail of destruction in 13 districts of four provinces but caused no fatalities.

“The latest update shows that Ana directly affected all Mashonaland provinces and Manicaland…There are over 282 houses and buildings that were damaged,” he was quoted as saying.