Deadly tropical cyclone Freddy set to hit Mozambique again

Deadly tropical cyclone Freddy set to hit Mozambique again. Image: WMO's Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre La Réunion (Meteo-France).

Cyclone Freddy is expected to hit Mozambique again later this week after it struck Madagascar for a second time on Monday.

Freddy’s death toll currently stands at 21, ReliefWeb confirmed on Wednesday, March 8.

Tropical cyclone Freddy is continuing its incredible and dangerous journey and is on track to break the record as the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record.

Freddy developed off the North Australian coast and became a named storm on 6 February. It crossed the entire South Indian Ocean and made landfall in Madagascar on 21 February and then in Mozambique on 24 February.

The storm spent several days tracking over Mozambique and Zimbabwe, bringing heavy rains and flooding. It then looped back towards the Mozambique Channel and picked up energy from the warm waters and moved towards the south-western coast of Madagascar.

Freddy is now moving away from Madagascar and is expected to intensify as it moves again towards Mozambique, according to WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre La Réunion (Meteo-France). It is warning of heavy rains in the next 36 hours in southern Madagascar, with total accumulations during the episode will be close to 100 mm locally 200 mm. Freddy could possibly make landfall as a tropical cyclone at the end of the week, but the forecast is still too uncertain to be able to precise timing and exposed areas.

Satellite-derived from NOAA estimates that in the last seven days, parts of southern Mozambique has received 500 mm, and in the past month up to 700mm of rainfall which is well above the annual average. Madagascar has received more than 300 mm in the last seven days or around three times the monthly average.

“Freddy is having a major socio-economic and humanitarian impact on affected communities. The death toll has been limited by accurate forecasts and early warnings, and coordinated disaster risk reduction action on the ground – although even one casualty is one too many,” said Dr Johan Stander, WMO Services Director.

“This once again underlines the importance of the UN Early Warnings for All initiative to ensure that everyone is protected in the next five years. WMO is committed to working with our partners to achieve this and tackle extreme weather and climate change-related risks – one of the biggest challenges of our times,” he said.

Four people have died in Madagascar due to the latest rains, bringing Freddy’s death toll to at least 21 people (10 in Mozambique and 11 in Madagascar), according to the latest report from OCHA on 6 March.

Mozambique’s national disaster management agency INGD estimates that 1.75 Million people have been affected, with over 8,000 persons displaced.

A humanitarian operation is underway in the region and this will be challenged further when Freddy makes landfall again. Even before Freddy hit, Mozambique had been suffering flooding from heavy seasonal rains.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at