BLANTYRE – Tropical storm Ana has caused widespread flooding, power outages and killed at least one person in Malawi, officials said Tuesday.
Cutting path of wet destruction across southern Africa, the storm has blown from the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, across Mozambique and into Malawi. In Madagascar the storm and earlier rains are blamed for 34 deaths and making an estimated 55,000 people homeless.
The Zambezi River area in central Mozambique was inundated by the storm's winds and rains.
In southern Malawi, flooding caused many houses to collapse, killing at least one person. Thousands more have been made homeless and have sought refuge in churches and schools. A major road has been cut off by flooding and many people are feared trapped by the surging waters, according to Malawi government officials.
A search and rescue team has been deployed to help people trapped by the flooding, Charles Kalemba, Commissioner for Disaster and Management Affairs told AP. Teams from Malawi's military, police and the Malawi Red Cross Society are part of the effort, he said.
Power has been cut to most parts of the country as torrents of water carry debris that has knocked down power lines, according to statements issued by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi and the Electricity Generation Company.
Classes have been suspended for all schools in southern Malawi, Education Minister Chikondano Mussa has announced.