February 22, 2024

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Hurricane Freddy: Wind and rain batter Mozambique as the storm arrives

Hurricane Freddy: Wind and rain batter Mozambique as the storm arrives

  • By Pumza Vihlani
  • BBC News, Johannesburg

photo caption,

Streets have already been flooded in some coastal areas

Rain, high winds and flooding hit Mozambique as Cyclone Freddie makes landfall for the second time in a month.

The South African country has received more than a year’s worth of rain in the past four weeks.

Freddy may become the longest-running storm ever recorded, having formed in northwest Australia 34 days ago.

One person has reportedly died, bringing the death toll to at least 28 since the storm made landfall for the first time.

The cyclone made landfall for the second time near the eastern port of Kilimani at around 22:00 (20:00 GMT) on Saturday.

People have been urged to move to temporary shelters – including schools, churches and warehouses.

More than half a million people could be at risk of a humanitarian crisis this time around, according to local disaster agencies.

Reuters news agency quoted the state-run TVM channel as saying, with strong winds blowing, a person died when his house collapsed.

Electricity was cut off as a precaution by the power utility company and all flights were suspended, according to TVM.

The hurricane has reportedly stalled farther from shore and is believed to be on its way to land soon.

“I can see some houses with roofs ripped off, windows smashed and streets flooded. It’s really scary,” charity worker Fania Masengo, from the coastal city of Quelimani in Zambezia province, told Reuters.

Freddie had already broken records for the strength he had accumulated on the 8,000 km (5,000 mi) track he traveled across the Indian Ocean to northwest Australia.

explain video,

How Hurricane Freddy was hitting Mozambique on Friday

Mozambique’s national disaster management agency estimates that more than 1.5 million people have been affected since the storm first hit last month, with more than 8,000 people forced from their homes.

A humanitarian operation is underway in the area, but there are fears relief efforts could be disrupted by a new downpour from Freddy’s return.

Neighboring Malawi – where health authorities are battling a cholera outbreak – is also set to be affected.

Weather experts expect the cyclone to bring damaging winds and heavy rains over wide areas, including northeastern Zimbabwe as well as southeastern Zambia.