Cyclone Freddy: Wind and rain in Mozambique as the storm approaches

  • By Bhumsa Fihlani
  • BBC News, Johannesburg

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Streets are already flooded in some coastal areas

Mozambique has been battered by rain, powerful winds and flooding as Cyclone Freddy makes landfall for the second time in a month.

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

Forming in northwest Australia 34 days ago, Freddie could become the longest-lasting storm on record.

One person has been reported dead, bringing the death toll to at least 28 since the storm first made landfall.

The typhoon made its second landfall near Quelimane on the eastern coast at 22:00 (20:00 GMT) on Saturday.

People have been urged to move to temporary shelters including schools, churches and warehouses.

According to local disaster agencies, more than half a million people could face a humanitarian crisis this time.

A man died after his house collapsed as strong winds hit the country, Reuters news agency said.

TVM reported that power has been shut off as a precaution by the power utility and all flights have been grounded.

The cyclone is believed to have stalled at sea and will soon make landfall.

“I can see some houses torn apart, broken windows and flooded streets. It’s very scary,” Waniya Masingu, a charity worker from the port city of Kulimane in Zambezi province, told Reuters.

Climate change is making tropical storms around the world wetter, windier and more intense, experts say.

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How Cyclone Freddie hit Mozambique on Friday

Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Agency says more than 1.5 million people have been affected since the storm hit last month, with more than 8,000 displaced from their homes.

A humanitarian operation is underway in the region, but there are fears that aid efforts could be hampered by fresh heavy rains since Freddie’s return.

Neighboring Malawi – where health officials are battling a cholera outbreak – is also affected.

Meteorologists have predicted that the cyclone will bring destructive winds and heavy rainfall to large areas, including northeastern Zimbabwe and southeastern Zambia.

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