Heavy rains hit Malawi on Friday, March 8, causing significant flooding in most parts of the Southern region. According to officials, at least 23 people have been killed and another 11 are missing. President Peter Mutharika declared a state of disaster and called for the military to assist evacuating people isolated by the flooding. Access to Chikwawa and Nsanje districts were cut off by flooding, which also impacted the districts of Phalombe, Blantyre, Neno, Mwanza, and Zomba. At least 22,000 people were forced to evacuate from their homes and power outages have been reported throughout the area. Recovery efforts are ongoing as of Saturday, March 9.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate flooding and associated transportation disruptions, including road closures, and remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of moving water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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