Areas along North Rukuru and Lufirya rivers in Karonga have been hit by flash floods displacing people and destroying about 84 hectares of crop fields.
Authorities say at least 58 families from five villages in Paramount Chief Kyungu’s area have been displaced and have currently camped at Chinsewu Primary School.
Karonga disaster officer Walusungu Mwafulirwa said the floods have left another 130 people homeless.
“We have been conducting awareness campaigns in the area since last year asking the concerned villagers to relocate,” he said.
He said the floods have destroyed 30 hectares (ha) of maize, 42ha of cassava, six hectares of rice and another six hectares of pigeon peas.
Disaster risk management committee chairperson Evance Simwaka said the area has been experiencing flush floods from last week.
He said the area has never experienced flooding of such magnitude before.
“This is a very difficult situation because we have never experienced this before; it is coming from the rivers and mountains. We are receiving normal rains,” said Simwaka.
He said the villagers got a warning on the occurrence of the floods last week from government.
Karonga is one of the disaster-prone districts in the country following a history of earthquakes, floods, hailstorms and dry spells.
Last year, Mzuzu University (Mzuni) embarked on a research project in the district to find better insights into natural disasters that happen in the district.
The Department of Meteorology and Climate Change has forecast that the floods situation will worsen along North Rukuru, Lufirya and Lweya rivers.