LILONGWE — Forty-two people have died in Malawi due to lightning strikes and structure collapses in the current rainy season, the government said in a statement on Friday.
“The death toll has risen… to 42 this week, with lightning strikes killing 28 people, while 14 died due to collapsing walls following stormy rains and strong winds,” Department of Disaster and Management Affairs Commissioner Charles Kalemba said. So far, 85 people have sustained various degrees of injuries while some roads, schools and hospitals have also been damaged, he said.
The commissioner said 24 out of the country’s 29 districts have experienced torrential rains, floods, strong winds, hailstorms and lightning, and that nearly 42,000 people have been affected.
“The department has reached out to 8,227 households — approximately 37,021 people, representing 88 percent of the total number affected,” Kalemba said.
Malawi’s rainy season usually starts in October and lasts through April. On Wednesday, the Department of Climate Change and Metrological Services issued a warning of severe heavy rains that might trigger flash floods in the coming days in southern Malawi.