The Washington Post

Death toll from Cyclone Freddy rises


The devastatin­g Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which has ripped through southern Africa in a rare second landfall, has killed at least 219 people in Malawi and Mozambique since Saturday night, with the death toll expected to rise.

Heavy rains that triggered floods and mudslides have killed 199 people in Malawi, authoritie­s said Tuesday. President Lazarus Chakwera declared a “state of disaster” in the country’s southern region and the ravaged commercial capital, Blantyre. Some 19,000 people in the south have been displaced, according to Malawi’s disaster management directorat­e.

“Power and communicat­ions are down in many affected areas, hindering aid operations,” Stéphane Dujarric, the U.N. secretary general’s spokesman, said at a news briefing Tuesday. The most affected regions remain inaccessib­le, so the full extent of the damage is so far unknown.

Reports from Mozambique’s disaster institute Tuesday confirmed that 20 people have died in the country and 1,900 homes have been destroyed in the coastal Zambezia province. Tens of thousands of people are still holed up in storm shelters and accommodat­ion centers.

Freddy will continue to thump central Mozambique and southern Malawi with extreme rainfall before it exits back to sea late Wednesday afternoon.

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