Malawi declares state-of-disaster after cyclone's deadly return



Malawi's president on Monday declared a state-of-disaster in several southern districts including the commercial hub Blantyre after the powerful cyclone Freddy made a comeback killing dozens, the presidency said.

President Lazarus Chakwera "has noted with grave concern the devastation that Cyclone Freddy is currently bringing to most districts... and declared a state of disaster in the Southern region," the presidency said a statement, after the storm left a trail of destruction and killed more than 60 people in the southern African country.

Government is already responding to the disaster while appealing for local and international relief aid for the affected families, it said.

More than 60 bodies were found during the day in southern Malawi where heavy downpours triggered flooding, according to the Red Cross. More people are still missing.

Blantyre city was badly impacted, with regional police spokeswoman Beatrice Mikuwa saying at least 36 bodies were recovered in the township of Chilobwe "which has been hit the most", with dozens of houses were washed away.

Freddy, on track to become one of the longest-lasting storms on record, barrelled through southern Africa at the weekend for the second time within weeks, making a comeback after a first hit in late February.