The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS), has issued a severe warning on heavy rains that might trigger the occurrence of flash floods. The heavy rains/ flash floods are expected to affect Chikwawa, Nsanje and other lakeshore areas from 21st to 22 December, 2022. The rains are also expected to be associated with strong winds and lightning.
In view of the foregoing, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) advises the general public to take the following precautions to save lives:
Immediately move to safer and higher areas if you are living in flood prone areas.
Avoid crossing flooded rivers and walking through running water.
If walking through water is the only option to safety, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Stay away from power lines and electrical wires and report about fallen power lines to authorities.
Do not attempt to save personal property at the expense of your lives and that of your family.
Do not attempt to move out of your house when strong winds are blowing. Strong winds can blow off roofs and cause serious injuries or deaths.
Stay away from windows and doors to avoid being hit by blown off objects.
If you are driving, slow down. Make sure all windows are closed. High speed winds may cause your car to feel unstable on the road.
Postpone all open space activities if forecast calls for thunderstorms.
Seek enclosed shelter immediately (i.e home, offices, shopping centres classrooms, churches, mosques etc.) when caught out in the open during thunderstorms and avoid seeking refuge under a tree.
Councils and residents should clear all drainage systems to make sure that water is given ample drainage space and avoid flooding.
If you can manage, provide first aid treatment to the injured and those in shock and call for medical help.
Pay attention to daily weather forecast.
Meanwhile, DoDMA has set standby arrangements for the deployment of a search and rescue team comprising the Malawi Defence Force (MDF), the Malawi Police Service and the Marine Department to Lower Shire Districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa.
DoDMA is also airing early warning messages on community and national radio stations to raise awareness on flooding, lightning and strong winds.
Issued in Lilongwe on the 22nd Day of December, 2022.
COMMISSIONER FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT AFFAIRS
Disaster Risk Reduction is Everyone’s Responsibility!