Torrential rain and mudslides across Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar have killed over 100 people so far this week.
The extreme weather, caused by cyclone Freddy, stemmed from Australia and moved across the entire southern Indian ocean. The cyclone has been ongoing for over 36 days.
Hundreds of people have been displaced as their homes were torn apart, streets flooded and trees uprooted. The cyclone has been recorded as one of the longest tropical cyclones in decades.
Electricity has been completely cut off across cities in Malawi and Mozambique, leaving families unable to contact their loved ones and call for help.
AMA offering emergency relief
AMA is responding by distributing blankets to help people who have been displaced from their homes as a result of the cyclone.
Souhaila Harboul, one of AMA’s staff members responsible for Mozambique projects, says that over 170,000 people have been affected by the cyclone so far.
“Some of the staff are stuck in some areas since the roads have been badly damaged and it is not safe on the move,” she says.
Over 5,100 people have been displaced, creating an urgent need for temporary shelter as well as food and clothing to assist people.
The elderly and children have been particularly badly affected by the storms.
Loss of crops and livelihoods
The cyclone has been particularly difficult for people in Malawi as it has washed away acres of crops, which are a major source of peoples’ livelihoods.
“This year a lot of people in Malawi were very happy with the crops they grew in their farms…it was giving people hope, but now it has all been lost,” says Ahmad Swalleh, AMA’s representative in Malawi.
Locals in Malawi were preparing to harvest their crops next month, but have been devastated by the scenes of their flooded land. For many, this financial loss will be hard to recover from.
With roads also cut off and disconnected, people have been struggling to find shelter in safe zone areas. Collapsed bridges also mean that travel across Malawi has been difficult.