Tropical Storm Freddy killed more than 130 people in South Africa in a month. The storm made landfall for the second time this past weekend and wreaked havoc again.
It is difficult to give exact figures on the damage and the number of victims, because the electric current and telephone lines are damaged in many places. At least 99 people have been killed in Malawi, including 85 in the town of Blantyre, according to the government. The total death toll from the storm in Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar is believed to be around 136.
Doctors Without Borders told Reuters news agency that at least 60 deaths had been transferred to Blantyre Hospital in Malawi since noon yesterday. About 200 wounded people will also be treated in the hospital.
They were hit by fallen trees, or they were hit by landslides and floods.
Tropical Storm Freddy made landfall on the African continent for the second time this past weekend, in Mozambique. There, the storm caused, among other things, flooding in towns along the coast.
In Mozambique, it has rained more in the past four weeks than the average for a year. Freddy then moved inland towards Malawi, with continuing torrential rains causing landslides.
The first time Freddy came to the beach was at the end of last month. Then 27 people died in Mozambique and the neighboring state of Madagascar. The storm then turned back towards the sea and was reactivated by warm sea water.
Record breaking storm
Freddy is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization says it is likely to be the longest-running tropical storm on record. Freddy has been going on for over 30 days. The previous record was a 31-day storm in 1994.
The United Nations estimates that Freddy may cause heavy rains and floods in the area until tomorrow. Malawi is still recovering from previous tropical storms, Anna and Gombe, which hit the country just over a year ago. The consequences are also significant in Mozambique. According to the United Nations, there are nearly half a million people in need of assistance.
According to UNICEF, the region is also facing a “very worrying” outbreak of cholera. The cause of this outbreak is poor water and sanitation, ongoing conflicts, and a weak healthcare system. Severe weather conditions exacerbated the situation.
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