30 January 2015: Malawi - Floods

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• Since December 2014, heavy rains affected Malawi causing rivers to overflow, floods, deaths and damage, especially in the southern districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa and Phalombe.

• A state of emergency has been declared by the President of Malawi on 13 January 2015 for 15 districts (out of 28), see affected districs on the map.

• As of 27 January (UN), the floods have affected 638 000 people (estimation) and killed at least 79 people, while 153 were still missing.

• The districts most affected are: Nsanje, Chikwawa and Phalombe, with over 170,000 displaced.
Preliminary reports show extensive damage to houses and infrastructure. As of 27 January (DoDMA, UN):
- Nsanje: 74 388 displaced, 24 displacement sites
- Chikwawa: 53 350 displaced, 18 displacement sites
- Phalombe: 51 700 displaced, 62 displacement sites

• On 25 January, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service was activated by DG ECHO (see in the inset map the flooded areas, as of 27 January).

Forecast: In the next 24 hours, more heavy rains may still affect several areas of Malawi (especially the southern part), including the already flood-affected areas. Risk of flooding is still very high.

Climate of Malawi: It has a sub-tropical climate (relatively dry and strongly seasonal).

• Warm-wet season between November and April. 95 % of the annual precipitation during this period. (Annual rainfall average:725 - 2 500 mm)

• Cool, dry winter season between May and August

Floods in Malawi: The FLOODS included in the Top 10 Natural Disasters in Malawi (CRED/EM-DAT) for the period 1900-2015 sorted by number of people killed are shown on the left, sorted by people affected on the right (the figures for the current floods are in RED).