Cyclone Freddie leaves trail of destruction in Malawi, Mozambique

Cyclone Freddy has killed more than 70 people and injured dozens others in Malawi and Mozambique after it made a second landfall in southern Africa in less than a month.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the cyclone is one of the strongest ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere and can be the longest-lasting.

It hit central Mozambique on Saturday, ripping off the roofs and and led to widespread flooding around the port of Quelimane before moving inland towards Malawi, where it unleashed torrential rains that caused landslides.

On Sunday night, the cyclone landed in Malawi, wreaking havoc in Blantyre, Phalombe, Thyolo, Nsanje, Zomba and Mulanje.

The floods killed about 100 people and destroyed houses, roads infrastructure and bridges. The country’s main power stations in the southern region were also shut down.

In Blantyre, Malawi’s main commercial hub, the central hospital had received at least 60 bodies by early afternoon on Monday.

Doctors Without Borders country director Marion Pechayre said: “About 200 injured people were being treated in the hospital.”

The injuries were from falling trees, landslides and flash floods. “A lot of [houses] are mud houses with tin roofs, so the roofs fall on people’s heads,” said Pechayre.

The Red Cross said at least 66 people in Malawi have been killed, 93 have been injured and 16 are still missing.

Local authorities said four more people died in neighboring Mozambique. 

UN agency Unicef said rains have abated but Mozambique’s coastal city of Quelimane remains without access to clean running water.

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