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Cyclone Freddy forces govt to suspend classes in Southern Region

The Ministry of Education has announced suspension of classes on 13th and 14th March, 2023 in the Southern Region districts as measure to protect students from possible danger the cyclone might cause.

In a statement seen by Malawi Voice, this evening, Chikondano Mussa Secretary for Education has stated that the decision follows the receipt of expert information from the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services.

“…Direct effects of Tropical Cyclone FREDDY being experienced in the Southern Region Districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Blantyre, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Neno and Zomba, will intensify, with the Cylone expecting to hit the region this evening or tomorrow 13th March, 2023; and dying down by Tuesday. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Education is temporarily suspending physical classes in all learning institutions in the aforementioned districts on Monday, 13th March and Tuesday, 14th March, 2023.” Reads part of the statement.

The ministry has further advised learners in boarding schools to stay indoors, as a measure of safety in order to preserve life. 

“During the suspension of classes, teachers and learners are encouraged to use available online platforms and radio lessons. In particular, when physical classes resume on Wednesday, 15th March, 2023, teachers are urged to provide remedial lessons to recover the lost time.” Adds the statement      

The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has been issuing warning updates in light of Tropical Cyclone Freddy (TCF), which is most likely to affect most parts of southern Malawi from the afternoon of Sunday, 12th March, 2023. 

As of Sunday, 12th March 2023, DCCMS had projected that there was a 100 per cent possibility that TCF will trigger rains exceeding 150 mm on Sunday, persisting into Monday and Tuesday the 14th of March. The torrential rains will be accompanied by possibly damaging winds with high likelihood of flooding.

DCCMS further projects that rainfall amounts over the southern part could cumulatively reach 400mm to 500mm within 72 hours, with Monday expected to be the wettest day.

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