Chitipa has become the latest disaster spot as persistent rains continue to wreak havoc in the Northern Region.
Massive mudslides devastated about 48 homes in the hilly setting of Bembe when the torrential rains which meteorological experts attributed to El Nino winds hit the border district, the Department of Disaster Management reported on Friday.
The devastating landslides coincided with a spate of floods which displaced almost 67 houses in 22 villages under traditional authorities Kilupula and Mwakaoko in Karonga District three days ago.
The raging Kyungu, North Rukuru and Lufilya rivers have led to a breakdown of livelihoods as almost 1 125 households have been affected by the results of heavy rainfall for the past two weeks.
The department reports that 359 households have been destroyed in Nkhata Bay, where the swampy strip of crops and settlements along Limphasa River near Mpamba Trading Centre remains the worst hit.
The victims say the response has been slow, but Dodma spokesperson Jeremiah Mphande blamed the delays to deliver relief items to persistent rains that have destroyed roads.
On Thursday, the department stationed a Malawi Defence Forces helicopter at Mzuzu Airport, where the northern side of the runway has been flooded for 13 days, as back-up when it comes to hauling vital supplies to hard-to-reach areas.
Principal disaster management officer Fyaupi Mwafongo on Friday pointed to uncoordinated response and delayed reports as the crisis leaves the survivors with no time to recover.
The major winners are rice growers who are projected to yield almost 28 000 metric tonnes—up from 18 000 metric tonnes last year—thanks to the incessant rainfall that have left maize and cassava on the losing side, said Karonga district commissioner Rosemary Moyo.