— The death toll in Mozambique climbed to 63 after Cyclone Freddy made a devastating return to southern Africa’s mainland, official statistics showed as President Filipe Nyusi appealed for help.
The bulk of the deaths were recorded in the northeastern province of Zambezia, which neighbours Malawi, according to figures released by the country disaster management agency.
“In this second wave of Cyclone Freddy, Zambezia province was the most affected. Unfortunately we have to report so far 53 deaths in this province,” Nyusi said in a televised national address after visiting Zambezia. The storm had claimed 10 lives during its first strike last month.
Mozambique “urgently” needs to “mobilise financial resources to restore destroyed infrastructure”, Nyusi said appealing for local and international aid.
More than 49,000 people have been displaced, while some 280 people were injured during Freddy’s return to the gas-rich but impoverished coastal nation.
The fierce storm delivered its second punch to the southern Africa region at the weekend, its second landfall since late February after brewing off Australia and traversing the Indian Ocean.
After sweeping through Mozambique, cyclone Freddy smashed into landlocked Malawi early Monday killing at least 225 people there.
The storm has unofficially broken the World Meteorological Organization’s benchmark as the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record, set in 1994 for a 31-day storm named John.
Around 80 tropical storms or cyclones form above tropical waters around the world each year.
The cyclone season in southern Africa lasts from November to April.
Source: Nam News Network (NNN)