Lilongwe, Europe Brief News – 99 people have died in Malawi after Tropical Storm Freddy ripped through southern Africa for the second time in a month.
Terrifying amounts of brown water have also cascaded through neighbourhoods, sweeping away homes.
Malawi’s commercial hub, Blantyre, has recorded the most deaths – 85, including 36 in a landslide.
The Malawi government has declared a state of disaster in 10 districts that have been hardest-hit by the storm.
Rescue workers are overwhelmed, and are using shovels to try to find survivors buried in mud.
“We have rivers overflowing, we have people being carried away by running waters, we have buildings collapsing,” police spokesman Peter Kalaya told the BBC.
The death toll is expected to rise as some areas remain cut off because of relentless rain and fierce wind.
Officials at the main referral hospital in Blantyre said they could not cope with the sheer number of receiving bodies.
They appealed to bereaved families to collect the corpses for burial as the hospital’s mortuary was running out of space.
The storm has also crippled Malawi’s power supply, with most parts of the country experiencing prolonged blackouts.
The national electricity company said it can not get its hydro-power plant working as it had been filled with debris.
Densely-populated poorer communities, living in brick and mud houses, have been hardest-hit.
Some of these houses have further crumbled into flood waters.
The UN and other agencies have warned that the timing of the storm could exacerbate a cholera outbreak – one of Malawi’s worst public health crises.
The government has appealed for help for the tens of thousands of people who are without food and shelter.