Desperate Cyclone Freddy survivors dig with bare hands to search for survivors in rubble

Chilobwe, one of the hardest-hit areas, is a township near the city of Blantyre. Located below a hill, the township saw water gushing down from above on Sunday night.

Authorities say over 30 people from the area have died and dozens remain missing as search and rescue efforts continue.

People could be seen on Monday using shovels, even bare hands, to search for the people in the rubble.

Dorothy Wachepa, 39, was sleeping when she woke up to a deafening noise “resembling the sound of an airplane.”

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“It was around 12 and I heard the sound accompanied by shouting from people upland,” the mother of four told CNN.

What followed was a torrent of muddy water, accompanied by rocks and trees, sliding down the mountain. All her possessions were washed away.

“Everything is gone. I was doing a small-scale business selling vegetables because my husband died in 2014. I’ve been supporting the children from the little that I have,” she added.

Wachepa said she and her children were lucky to make it out of the house alive.

A total of nine people, including Wachepa’s neighbor and a number of local children, died in the cyclone-induced rains, she told CNN.

Wachepa is one of dozens of people seeking shelter at a local church. She has been left with only a sheet to cover herself and her children from the windy and cold nights.

“We’ve received some blankets and plastic sheets today, so hopefully tonight we will manage to sleep,” Wachepa said.



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