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The record-breaking cyclone Freddy moves hundreds of people to the second landfall in Mozambique

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JOHANNESBURG (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Cyclone Freddy displaced hundreds of people as it slammed into central Mozambique on Sunday after making landfall for the second time in a month, breaking records for the duration and strength of tropical storms in the Southern Hemisphere .

Communications and electricity supply to the storm area were disrupted, so the extent of the damage and the number of casualties were unclear. At least one person was killed in Quelimane on Saturday when his house collapsed in a storm that swept the coast.

More than 171,000 people have been affected after cyclones hit southern Mozambique last month, killing 27 people in Mozambique and Madagascar. More than half a million are at risk of being affected in Mozambique this time around, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

State TV reported that hundreds were displaced along the storm’s path. More than 650 homes were destroyed in Marromeu district, he said, while more than 3,000 people were affected by the floods in Sofala province.

After passing the port city of Quelimane, the storm continued inland towards the southern tip of neighboring Malawi, satellite data showed.

However, the national electricity company Electricidade de Moçambique said that by mid-afternoon, electricity had been restored in most areas, with the exception of Milange, Lugela, Maganja da Costa, Namanjavira and parts of the city of Mocuba.

“The wind was very strong in the night … There is a lot of destruction, trees fallen, roofs blown off,” Guy Taylor, head of Advocacy, Communications and Partnerships for UNICEF Mozambique, told RockedBuzz via Reuters via satellite phone. from Quelimane. He still had no news of the victims or the number of displaced persons.


“It’s potentially a major disaster and more support will be needed,” Taylor said, adding that heavy rains continue to fall.

In Malawi, authorities were preparing for the cyclone to pass near the southern end of the landlocked country by evening, bringing torrential rains and flooding, the climate change and meteorological resources department said in a statement.

A Zoom Earth satellite map showing the cyclone’s likely path projects it to die down near the Malawi border as it moves inland around 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, 27 people died when the storm first made landfall, after first being spotted near Indonesia on Feb. 6.

After churning for 35 days, Freddy is likely to break the record for longest-lasting tropical cyclone, with the previous record held by a hurricane of 31 days in 1994, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

It also set a record for the highest accumulated cyclone energy, a measure of storm strength over time, of any Southern Hemisphere storm in history, according to the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Climate change is making hurricanes stronger, scientists say. The oceans absorb much of the heat from greenhouse gas emissions, and as warm seawater evaporates, its heat energy is transferred into the atmosphere, fueling more destructive storms.

(Reporting by Tim Cocks in Johannesburg; Additional reporting by Manuel Mucari in Maputo and Frank Phiri in Blantyre; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and David Holmes)

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