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Cyclone Freddy death toll surpasses 500 in southeastern Africa

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Cyclone Freddy in February is likely to be the longest cyclone ever recorded.

Deaths in South East Africa from Exceptional Causes Long lasting tropical cyclone freddy Officials in Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar say the number of cases has risen to 522.

Malawi’s disaster management agency, which was hit hardest by the cyclone, reported on Saturday that the death toll had reached 438.

Tens of thousands of people have been left homeless in Malawi, about 345,000 have been affected by heavy rains, floods and landslides, and hundreds of shelters have been set up for survivors across the country.

The cyclone left a devastating trail in southeastern Africa. Neighboring Mozambique and the island nation of Madagascar are also affected.

At least 67 people have died in Mozambique and another 50,000 have been displaced, according to President Filipe Nyusi.

The death toll in both countries is expected to continue to rise. At least 17 people have died in the island nation of Madagascar.

Cyclone Freddy dissipated on land late Wednesday after making a second landfall over the weekend in Mozambique and Malawi, causing massive devastation in several areas, including Malawi’s financial capital Blantyre.

Some of the survivors of Cyclone Freddy at a camp in Blantyre, Malawi [Rabson Kondowe/Al Jazeera]

Al Jazeera’s Famida Miller said in a report from Malawi’s Makanga island that relief efforts are continuing but transport of people from the flood-hit islands to the mainland has been delayed.

“Historically, they [the police services] We’ve reached about 1,300 people, but there are hundreds more waiting. They had to take refuge in trees. Their homes have been swept away and they have no food,” Miller said.

“It will definitely take at least a few more days before there is a bigger dent in terms of helping people in places like this that have been very difficult to reach out to,” she added. rice field.

Freddie landed in Madagascar for the first time on February 21st. From there, the storm traveled to Mozambique and back across the Indian Ocean. On 11 March, she arrived in Mozambique for the second time and moved to Malawi.

“Many areas are inaccessible, limiting the movement of assessment teams, humanitarian teams and life-saving supplies,” said Paul Turnbull, director of the World Food Program in Malawi. “The true extent of the damage will only become clear after the assessment is finished.”

Both countries were already facing cholera outbreaks before the cyclone hit, and there are concerns that flooding could exacerbate the spread of water-borne diseases. It was dealing with assaults and floods.

Scientists say human-induced climate change has exacerbated cyclone activity, making them wetter, more intense and more frequent.

Cyclone Freddy has devastated southern Africa since late February when it hit Mozambique, Madagascar and Reunion. He then returned to the mainland after regaining his power in the Mozambique Channel.

The World Meteorological Organization has convened a panel of experts to determine whether Cyclone Freddy has broken the record for the longest cyclone ever recorded.

South Africa is currently in cyclone season, with rain and severe storms likely through March or April.

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