(CNN) At least 99 people were confirmed dead on Monday Hurricane Freddy South Malawi was hit, the country’s commissioner for disaster management affairs, Charles Kalemba, told CNN.
According to Kalemba, most of the deaths occurred in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital.
“We have recorded 99 deaths in about seven councils, Blantyre city has the highest death toll of 85 and about 134 people have been hospitalized in Blantyre alone,” Kalemba told CNN on Monday evening. He warned that the number of dead and injured could increase.
Malawi’s government has declared a “state of disaster” in the southern part of the country.
The country’s president, Lazarus Sakwera, “has expressed great concern over the devastation that Cyclone Pretty is currently bringing to most districts in the southern region of Malawi”. Government press release said.
“Accordingly, the government is already responding to emergencies, providing emergency assistance to all affected districts, and requesting local and international support for all families affected by this disaster,” the statement continued.
Schools in 10 worst-hit districts will remain closed until Wednesday, Malawi’s Ministry of Education said. Report Sunday.
Earlier on Monday, Malawi police spokesman Peter Kalaya told CNN that damage from the storm had submerged roads and caused power outages in the worst-hit areas.
Kalemba said rescue efforts were “difficult”.
“We are still having a lot of rain. We are now experiencing landslides, flash floods and stones rolling down some hills. Rescue work is not easy because of the weather. We have to go to some places and save people. It is not easy to get there, it is difficult, but we are doing the work we have to do. Coming,” he said.
Deadly Cyclone Freddy has broken records for the longest-lasting storm of its kind and has battered neighboring Mozambique and Madagascar. More than 20 people And thousands have been displaced in both countries.
It is described as a A “very rare” storm The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) called its journey “unprecedented and dangerous”.