At least 190 people died after Tropical Cyclone Freddy devastated southern Malawi, the country’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs announced on Tuesday.
At least 584 people were injured and 37 people missing in the country.
Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change said on Tuesday that the cyclone is “weakening but will continue to bring torrential rains associated with windy conditions to most parts of southern Malawi”.
“The threat of heavy flooding and damaging winds remains very high,” the report added.
Charles Kalemba, commissioner of the agency’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs, told CNN on Tuesday that the situation had worsened in southern Malawi.
“It’s worse today. A number of places are flooded and a number of roads and bridges are cut. Visibility is almost zero. The electricity is out and the network is also a problem. It is getting more and more disastrous,” Kalemba said, adding that rescue operations have also been affected by bad weather.
“It’s tough. We have to use machines (for rescue operations) but the machines can’t go where they were supposed to dig because of the rains,” Kalemba added.
Malawi Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services warned Monday that “the threat of damaging winds and heavy flooding remains very high”.
Kalemba added that an improvement in weather conditions is expected from Wednesday. “Maybe by tomorrow the cyclone may have passed. We hope to see an improvement from tomorrow but today is worse. There is heavy rain and lots of water.
In Mozambique, at least 10 people were killed and 13 injured in Zambezia province, according to the state broadcaster Radio Mozambique, citing the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management.
The deadly cyclone broke records for the longest such storm after making landfall in Mozambique for a second timemore than two weeks after the first.
More than 22,000 people have been displaced by the tropical storm, according to Radio Mozambique.
“It is very likely that this number will increase,” Guy Taylor, head of advocacy, communications and partnerships for UNICEF in Mozambique, told CNN on Tuesday.
“The size or force of the storm was much higher than last time…the impact in terms of damage and the impact on people’s lives was greater,” he said.