Cyclone Freddy, which is following an unusual looping path, has killed more than 100 people in Mozambique and Malawi, where a state of disaster has been declared, authorities said Monday.
At least 99 people died in Malawione of the poorest countries in Africa, said the disaster agency.
The previous balance offered by the authorities and the Red Cross reported at least 66 deaths in that country and four in Mozambique. Numbers may still rise.
In several regions of southern Malawi, the authorities declared the state of catastropheincluding in the economic capital Blantyre, announced the presidency.
The head of state Lazarus Chakwera “noted with great concern the devastation that Cyclone Freddy is causing in many districts (…) and declared a state of catastrophe” in the south, he said in a statement.
Freddy formed off northwest Australia in the first week of February and could become the longest-lasting tropical cyclone ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations agency.
It traversed the entire southern Indian Ocean and struck Madagascar on February 21 before reaching Mozambique on February 24. At that time, she left 17 dead and thousands displaced.
Following an unusual looping track, the cyclone made landfall again in Madagascar last week and returned to Mozambique on Saturday.
At least four people died in the province of Zambezia (center), local authorities told AFP.
But it is probable that the balance will increase because the information arrives little by little due to the damage caused by the heavy rains and strong winds in the telecommunications network.
Mozambique’s national institute for disaster management (INGD) said that the consequences of this second storm were worse than expected.
“The number of people affected exceeded forecasts,” said INGD director Luisa Meque, adding that the storm also hit areas “considered safe.”
many people are missingthe authorities alerted.
The port city of Quelimane (centre), located some 40 km from where the cyclone made landfall, is still cut off from the rest of the country.
In some areas there are no longer roads, water or electricity, Guy Taylor, spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), said by telephone.
The cyclone reached Malawi early Monday morning. Most of the bodies were found in the Blantyre region, according to local police.
“Rescue operations are still going on, but they are hampered by incessant rains,” Beatrice Mikuwa, a spokeswoman, told AFP.
Several storms or cyclones cross the southwestern Indian Ocean each year during the cyclone season, which runs from November to April.
(with information from AFP)
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