Winds and rain lash Mozambique as storm nears
As Cyclone Freddy, a powerful wind and rain-driven storm that is expected to hit Mozambique for the second time this month, Mozambique is experiencing flooding.
The southern African nation has received more than a year’s worth of rainfall in the past four weeks.
Freddy, which formed in the northwest of Australia 34 days ago, maybe the longest-lasting storm ever recorded.
Reports indicate that one person has died, bringing the total death toll to 28 since the storm’s first landfall.
People were urged to seek temporary shelters, including churches, schools, and warehouses.
According to local disaster agencies, more than half a billion people could be in danger of a humanitarian crisis.
According to Reuters news agency, one person was killed when his home collapsed due to the strong winds that hit the country.
TVM reports that the power utility company has turned off electricity as a precaution and that all flights have been canceled.
The cyclone is reported to have stalled offshore and is thought to be making its way onto land soon.
“I can see some houses with roofs torn apart, broken windows and the streets flooded. It’s really scary,” charity worker Vania Massingue, from the port city of Quelimane in Zambezia province, told Reuters.
Experts say climate change is making tropical storms around the world wetter, windier, and more intense.
Freddy has already broken records for the strength it has accumulated over the 8,000-km (5,000-mile) path it traveled across the Indian Ocean for north-western Australia.
Mozambique’s national disaster management agency estimates more than 1.5 million people have been affected since the storm first hit last month, with more than 8,000 forced from their homes.
A humanitarian operation is underway in the region, but there are fears that aid efforts may be hampered by new heavy rains from Freddy’s return.
Neighbouring Malawi – where health authorities are battling a cholera outbreak – is also set to be affected.
Weather experts predict the cyclone will bring destructive winds and extreme rainfall over large areas, including north-east Zimbabwe as well as south-east Zambia.