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“Disaster like never before!”

Feb 9, 2015

When I first heard of the flooding in Malawi, I went to the internet to see if there were reports from overseas and local news agencies. I was shocked to see the extent of damage that happened very quickly. Here are just a few of the news reports I saw.

by Sidney Vaugn

The Malawi President described these floods as a disaster, the magnitude of which has never happened before.

The recent floods in Malawi have caused a national crisis.

Malawi, with a population of 13 million, is one of the poorest countries in the world and estimates are now saying that 11,000 homes have been damaged.

AP: Flooding in Malawi – death toll nears 200 with more missing; at least 200,000 have been displaced; homes and schools were submerged in water and roads washed away by the deluge.

The floods have destroyed crops and swept away people’s meager possessions, raising fears for the future once the waters recede.

Nyasa Times [Malawian Newspaper] reports “People are starving. Some crying out, “we have not eaten for days.” Survivors tell horror stories of the “sudden torrent of water and a stream of floating bodies. I could not believe my eyes. It was haunting.”

Within an hour, the whole area where once there were villages and schools and gardens is now a lake.

One woman said, “My husband and my child and I clung to a tree for two days.” She pointed to a huge lake and said, “Last week there was no lake there.”

Tents have been set up for those left homeless, and many have found refuge with friends, neighbors, and schools, if those buildings remained habitable.

There is now concern that the displaced people are also vulnerable to water-borne disease due to unsanitary conditions.

In neighboring Mozambique, the Licungo River burst its banks and has reached its highest levels in 45 years.

Flash floods caused by days of torrential rain have swept away roads and bridges, destroyed thousands of acres of crops and raised fears of a cholera outbreak.