Continued flooding in southern Malawi and central and northern Mozambique has resulted in the deaths of at least 56 people in Malawi and 66 people in Mozambique as of Wednesday, March 13. The flooding has also left hundreds more injured in both countries; in total, approximately 739,000 people have been affected by the flooding in Malawi and 141,000 others in Mozambique, with most forced to seek emergency shelter after their homes sustained flood damage.
Among the most affected regions in Malawi are the districts of Machinga, Zomba, Ntcheu, Phalombe, Nsanje, Mwanza, Chikwawa, Blantyre, Balaka, and Mulanje. In Mozambique, the provinces of Zambezia, Tete, and Niassa have been most severely affected, particularly in the Zambezi, Licungo, Buzi, and Pungoe river basins. Zambezia province is forecast to be hit by strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge from Thursday, March 14, to Sunday, March 17.
Further heavy rainfall is forecast and consequent flooding, telecommunications and transportation disruptions, and power outages are to be expected over the coming days as Tropical Cyclone Idai approaches the Mozambican coast and makes landfall near Beira (Sofala province).
A tropical disturbance, which later formed to become Tropical Cyclone Idai, brought heavy rain and consequent flooding to Malawi's Southern region and Mozambique's central and northern regions in the past week. President Peter Mutharika of Malawi has declared a state of emergency due to severe flooding in the south of the country.
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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