Tropical Cyclone Freddy has killed at least 190 people in Malawi and five have been confirmed dead in Mozambique.
Freddy is refusing to dissipate and has broken records for the number of times it has re-intensified after weakening, reported Sky News.
It has re-intensified after weakening seven times.
The cyclone has recorded the highest-ever recorded accumulated energy for a single cyclone – more energy over its lifetime than a whole typical US hurricane season.
According to French weather agency Meteo-France’s regional centre, the cyclone has not subsided yet. It has warned that “the heaviest rains will continue over the next 48 hours”.
Malawi police spokesperson Peter Kalaya said they expect the death toll to rise as some people have been reported missing. Said Kalaya:
We suspect that this figure will rise as we are trying to compile one national report from our southwest, southeast and eastern police offices which cover the affected areas.
Doctors Without Borders say the threat of a resurgence of cholera remains a major concern as Malawi recently suffered the biggest outbreak the country has seen in its history.
Freddy emerged on 6 February and travelled from near Australia across the entire southern Indian Ocean, hitting Madagascar and Reunion on its path.
The UN’s weather agency will determine if Freddy has broken the record for the longest tropical cyclone set by Hurricane John in 1994 of 31 days.
Meteo-France also said that Freddy should subside and exit back to the sea on Wednesday.
Experts say fossil-fuel-driven climate change has increased the number of intense and destructive storms in three key ways:
- a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, increasing the extreme rainfall dumped by storms
- hotter oceans fuel more powerful storms, spreading tropical storms further north and south
- higher sea levels inflict more damage during a storm surge.
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