At least 100 people have died in Malawi and Mozambique due to torrential rains and strong winds since Hurricane Freddie, which is making an unusual path, has slammed through South Africa, officials said Monday.
More than 99 bodies have been found in southern Malawi and a state of disaster has been declared by the authorities, including the economic capital, Blantyre.
The Head of State, Lazarus Chaquera, noted with great concern the devastation caused by Hurricane Freddy in many regions (…) and declared a state of disaster [no sul]Bayan says.
Another four people died in neighboring Mozambique, with many people missing. The country’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGD) said the aftermath of the storm that hit the region was worse than expected.
The port city of Kilimani, located 40 kilometers from where the cyclone made landfall, remains cut off from the rest of the country. Some areas no longer have streets, water or electricity, said Jay Taylor, a spokesman for the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, by phone.
“The number of those affected has exceeded expectations,” said Louisa Mieke, director of the Inge DN Institute.
She added that the storm hit areas considered safe in Mozambique.
According to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Cyclone Freddie formed in northeastern Australia in the first week of February. The storm crossed the southern Indian Ocean and made landfall in Madagascar on February 21, before making landfall in Mozambique on February 24.
With an unusual track, the cyclone again affected the territory of Mozambique over the past weekend and reached Malawi early Monday (13).
If the storm maintains strength, Freddy will become the longest-running tropical cyclone on record.
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