Cyclone Freddy, packing powerful winds and torrential rain, killed more than 100 people in Malawi and Mozambique on its return to Southern Africa’s mainland. Freddy barrelled through Southern Africa at the weekend for the second time in a few weeks, making a comeback after it first hit in late February. Malawi bore the brunt, counting at least 99 deaths after mudslides overnight washed away houses and sleeping occupants. Another 134 people were injured while 16 are reported missing. Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre recorded 85 deaths. President of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera declared a state of disaster in the Southern region of the nation. The government has appealed for local and international aid for affected families.
In neighboring Mozambique, at least 10 people died and 14 were wounded. The Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management said, the fallout from the storm’s second landfall in the country was worse than expected.
According to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, Freddy, which formed off northwestern Australia in the first week of February, was set to become what is believed to be the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record. It crossed the entire southern Indian Ocean and blasted Madagascar from the 21st of February before reaching Mozambique on the 24th of last month.
Following what meteorologists describe as a rare loop trajectory, Freddy then headed back towards Madagascar before moving once more towards Mozambique. The UN said, more than 11,000 people were affected by the storm. The last cyclones to cross the entire southern Indian Ocean were Leon-Eline and Hudah in 2000.
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