Cyclone Freddy strikes for the second time in Africa: death toll rises to 190 in Malawi
Sylvie Claire / March 15, 2023
Cyclone Freddy, which struck for the second time in southern Africa, has killed at least 190 people in Malawi where torrential rains have caused flooding and landslides, according to a new government report Tuesday.
"The death toll rose from 99 (...) to 190, with 584 injured and 37 missing," the National Disaster Management Office said in a statement.
After making landfall for the second time over the weekend in Mozambique, killing at least 10 people, Freddy headed south to neighboring Malawi in the early hours of Monday. A state of disaster has been declared in the region of Blantyre, the economic capital and epicenter of the disaster.
This country has so far paid the highest price for the return of the tropical cyclone, which followed a looping path rarely recorded by meteorologists.
Freddy first hit southern Africa at the end of February. After an unprecedented crossing of more than 10,000 km from east to west in the Indian Ocean, it made landfall in Madagascar before hitting Mozambique. The death toll at the time was 17.
Recharging in intensity and moisture over the warm seas, with winds in excess of 220 km/h, Freddy then turned around, returning to batter southern Africa two weeks later. It killed 10 people last week on its way back to Madagascar.
Freddy formed off Australia at the beginning of February and has been raging in the Indian Ocean for 36 days.