According to the Karonga district Council, days of continued heavy rains in the district (Northern region) resulted in serious flooding that has affected 300 households and approximately 1650 people as of Friday, April 14. The rains caused the swelling of the North Rukuru, Rufilya, Kibwe, Changwima, Kyungu, Iponga, and Songwe Rivers, forcing affected people to seek refuge in nearby churches, schools, and community organizations. Relief items are currently being distributed to affected families. Heavy rains have also damaged several dwelling places and road infrastructures along the lakeshore districts of Nkhotakota, Nkhata Bay, Salima, and Karonga. Continued rain is possible in the coming days.
Malawi experiences severe flooding during the rainy season (November to April).
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation, to avoid areas directly hit by flooding, and to adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous – 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult – and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs disposed of. Be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rains.
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