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Winds and rain hit Mozambique before the arrival of the cyclone – BBC News World

  • By Pumza Fihlani
  • BBC News, Johannesburg


Streets are already flooded in some coastal areas

Mozambique is being battered by rain, strong winds and flooding as Cyclone Freddy makes landfall for the second time in a month.

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

Freddy may be the longest-lasting storm on record, having formed over northwestern Australia 34 days ago.

One person is reported to have died, bringing the death toll to at least 28 since the storm first made landfall.

The cyclone made a second landfall near the eastern seaport of Quelimane around 10 p.m. (2000 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, according to local disaster agencies.

As strong winds hit the country, one person was killed when his house collapsed, the Reuters news agency quoted state channel TVM as saying.

The utility company has cut off electricity as a precaution and all flights have been suspended, according to TVM.

The cyclone is reported to have stalled offshore and is believed to make landfall soon.

“I can see some houses with smashed roofs, broken windows and flooded streets. It’s very 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 had already broken records for the strength he has amassed on the 8,000 km (5,000 mile) path he traveled across the Indian Ocean to northwest Australia.

video Subtitle,

Cyclone Freddy hits Mozambique

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 forced to flee their homes.

A humanitarian operation is underway in the region, but it is feared that relief efforts will be hampered by renewed torrential rains from Freddy’s return.

Neighboring Malawi, where health authorities are battling a cholera outbreak, will also be affected.

Weather experts predict the cyclone will bring destructive winds and extreme rainfall to large areas, including northeastern Zimbabwe and southeastern Zambia.

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