Tuesday, May 30, 2023

At least 216 people died as Cyclone Freddy passed through Malawi and Mozambique

Roderic Diaz m.

Local police reported that 199 people were killed in the Malawi region, and many more were missing or injured. Mozambique authorities have reported that 18 people have died in the country since Saturday.

In Malawi, five members of the same family were killed in Ndirande town in Blantyre after destructive winds and heavy rains brought down Freddy’s house, according to a police report. A three-year-old girl who was “encased in cement” is also counted among the victims and her parents are missing, according to authorities.

“We suspect that this number will increase as they try to make a national report to the south-west, south-east and east police officials who are covering the affected,” said Malawi Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya.

The cyclone hit Mozambique and Malawi over the weekend and on Monday. The second cycle, which has broken records of destruction in southern Africa since the end of February, has fallen on the African continent. He also struck the states of Madagascar and Reunion while crossing the ocean.

Freddy has intensified a record number of times and recorded the highest Cyclone Energy (ACE), which is a measure of a cyclone’s energy released over time. Freddy has recorded more energy in his lifetime than in his entire time in a typical US storm.

A cycle formed near Australia in early February and crossed the southern Indian Ocean. It is said to be the longest tropical cyclone ever recorded. The UN weather agency convened a panel of experts to determine if the 31-day record set by Hurricane John in 1994.

Freddy made landfall on Saturday at the Mozambique port of Quelimane, where there are reports of damage to houses and fields, although the extent of the destruction is still unclear. Telecommunications and other essential infrastructure remain cut off throughout much of Zambezia province, hampering relief efforts and other humanitarian efforts.

The French meteorological agency Meteo-Franco, a tropical cyclone watchdog based in Reunion, warned on Monday that “the rains will continue to be very heavy for the next 48 hours” as Freddy advances at full speed. The central provinces of Mozambique and Malawi are known and especially vulnerable to “mountain flooding and landslides” by storm watchers.

Much of the damage in Malawi has been caused by houses built in areas prohibited by law, such as those in the mountains or near rivers, where landslides, floods and river overflows occur. The cyclone forced the Malawian government to suspend operations in 10 districts in the southern region “as a precautionary measure”.

Nation World News Desk
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