Cyclone Freddy death toll in Malawi hits 326: President

AFP , Thursday 16 Mar 2023

The death toll from Cyclone Freddy after it lashed Malawi upon returning to southern Africa's mainland has risen to 326, the country's president said Thursday, bringing the total number of victims across the region to over 400 since February.

Malawi Defence Force, (MDF) soldiers recover a body of a victim of landslide which resulted due to heavy rains resulting from cyclone freddy during an MDF rescue operation at Manje informal settlement in Blantyre, southern Malawi, March 16, 2023. A


"As of yesterday, the death toll from this disaster has risen from 225 to 326, the number of people displaced has more than doubled to 183,159," Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera said in the devastated southern region near Blantyre.

Chakwera has called for global aid as rescuers continued to seek survivors Thursday from the flooding and mudslides caused by torrential rains this week.

The cyclone first struck southern Africa in late February, striking Madagascar and Mozambique but causing only limited damage in landlocked Malawi.

The storm then moved back out over the Indian Ocean, where it drew more power from the warm waters before making a rare course reversal to slam into the mainland a second time.

The rains have eased since Wednesday but Freddy is still on track to become one of the world's longest tropical storms.

In Mozambique, the storm has caused at least 63 deaths and displaced 49,000 people, according to official figures Wednesday.

President Filipe Nyusi has also appealed for aid to rebuild destroyed infrastructure.

Meteorologists say the cyclone is exceptional in its duration and has characteristics consistent with warnings about climate change.

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