Cyclone Freddy has pummeled
Mozambique, killing one person, ripping roofs off
houses and triggering a lockdown in one port town, a resident
and local media said, two weeks after 27 died when the storm
first made landfall.
Freddy, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the
southern hemisphere, started sweeping onshore by 10pm local time [2000 GMT], satellite data showed on Saturday, after hours of battering the
southern African coast with rain.
It was the second time the cyclone has struck the
country since it was named after being spotted near Indonesia on
“The town is a no-go zone; no shops or businesses open.
Everything is closed. We’re locked up,” resident Vania Massingue
said by telephone from her house in the port settlement of
Quelimane, located in the storm’s path in the central Zambezia
“I can see some houses with roofs torn apart, broken windows
and the streets flooded. It’s really scary.”
After swirling for 34 days, the weather system is likely to
have broken the record for the longest-lasting tropical cyclone.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the previous
record was held by a 31-day hurricane in 1994.
State broadcaster TVM said one person died when his house
collapsed, and that the power utility had switched off the
electricity completely as a precaution. All flights were
suspended, it added.
Half a million at risk
The cyclone is slow-moving, which meteorological experts say
means it will pick up more moisture off the sea, bringing heavy
Around the world, climate crisis is making hurricanes
wetter, windier and stronger, scientists say. Oceans absorb
much of the heat from greenhouse gas emissions, and when warm
seawater evaporates its heat energy is transferred to the
atmosphere, fuelling more destructive storms.
More than 171,000 people were affected after the cyclone
swept through southern Mozambique last month, bringing heavy
rains and floods that damaged crops and destroyed houses, with
OCHA putting its death toll at 27 so far — 10 in
Mozambique and 17 in Madagascar.
More than half a million people are at risk in Mozambique
this time, notably in Zambezia, Tete, Sofala and Nampula
Freddy, which is also expected to hit northeastern Zimbabwe,
southeast Zambia and Malawi, has set a record for the highest
accumulated cyclone energy, a measure of the storm’s strength
over time, of any southern hemisphere storm in history,
according to the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric