Cyclone Freddy death toll in southern Africa surpasses 500

Monday, March 20th, 2023 09:00 | By
Cyclone Freddy death toll in southern Africa surpasses 500
Residents survey the damage caused by Cyclone Freddy in Chilobwe, Malawi. PHOTO/Reuters

The death toll in southeast Africa due to Tropical Cyclone Freddy has risen to 522, according to authorities in Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Disaster management authorities in Malawi, which has been hit the hardest by the cyclone, reported on Saturday that the death toll there had risen to 438.

Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, declared a 14-day national mourning on Thursday.

There are hundreds of evacuation centres set up across the country for survivors with tens of thousands in Malawi left homeless and approximately 345,000 people affected by the heavy rains, floods and landslides.

The cyclone left a trail of devastation in southeast Africa.

Neighbouring Mozambique and the island nation of Madagascar have also been affected.

In Mozambique, at least 67 people died, according to President Filipe Nyusi, with 50,000 more displaced.

It is expected that the death toll in both nations will continue to climb. At least 17 people were killed in the island nation of Madagascar.

Cyclone Freddy dissipated over land late Wednesday after it made a second landfall in Mozambique and then Malawi over the weekend and caused mass devastation in several regions, including Malawi’s financial capital, Blantyre.

Reporting from Makanga, an island in Malawi, Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller said that while rescue services were continuing, they have been slow to transport people from flooded islands to the mainland.

“So far, they (the police services) have reached about 1,300 people, but hundreds more are waiting.

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