March 13, 2023

Cyclone Freddy: Trails of Destruction in Mozambique And Malawi

According to estimates from disaster relief agencies, more than half a million people in Mozambique face a possible humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy.

Schools in 10 southern districts of Malawi have also been suspended for Monday, 13 March, and Tuesday due to safety concerns as roads have been washed away by heavy rainfall, with more expected over the next few days.

The cyclone landed in Mozambique on Saturday evening, 11 March, one person has reportedly lost their life in Quelimane when his house collapsed. The latest reports bring the death toll for Freddy – which first formed near Indonesia on 6 February – to 28 in total over the last 35 days.

“There is already quite substantial flooding,” Guy Taylor, spokesperson for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, told an international publication before the storm officially hit on Saturday night.

“We saw people with water in their houses, wading through knee-deep water. And that’s just with this initial bit of rain,” Taylor said before adding: “It’s potentially a disaster of large magnitude, and additional support will be needed.”

In the past four weeks, Mozambique has received more than a year’s worth of expected rainfall, with further rain also predicted in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

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