President Lazarus Chakwera on Monday night declared State of Disaster in nine southern region districts as the country begins to assess the damage caused by heavy rains.

In a declaration released by Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba, Chakwera says he has noted “with grave concern” of the devastating effects of the flood.

The districts include Blantyre, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mwanza, Neno, Zomba, Phalombe, Mulanje, Chiradzulu and Thyolo.

The declaration would help in mobilisation of relief efforts as the response has been slow with the majority of people only starting to get help late Monday afternoon.

Chakwera himself is in South Africa where he stopped after a 10 day visit to Qutar where attended a Least Developed Countries conference. He is expected to return to Malawi on Tuesday.

Reports however indicate that the Cyclone might turn towards the capital Lilongwe which could result in more damage.

Several Cabinet Ministers are scheduled to address a press conference as government has been silent since the start of the Cyclone.

Residents of Blantyre City have reported to have had no electricity since morning and other areas such as Manja township at the foot of Soche Hill are being evacuated to a primary school.

Social commentator Stanely Onjezani Kenani has set up a relief fund to help those relocating from homes.

So far 66 people are confirmed to have been killed and 16 are still missing. 2115 families have been affected and 93 people are reported to have been injured.

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