MAPUTO (Reuters) – Cyclone Freddy battered Mozambique on Saturday, killing one person, destroying rooftops and forcing the closure of a coastal town, two weeks after 27 people died when the storm first made landfall, a resident and local media said. .
Satellite data showed that Freddy, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, began sweeping ashore by 10pm local time (2000 GMT), hours after it battered the southern African coast with rain.
This is the second time the typhoon has hit the country since it was named after it was spotted near Indonesia on February 6.
said Fania Masengo, a resident of the city, by phone from her home in the coastal settlement of Kilimani, located in Storm Road in the central province of Zambia.
“I can see some houses with roofs torn off, windows smashed and streets flooded with water. It’s really scary.”
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After circulating for 34 days, the weather system has likely broken the record for longest-lasting tropical cyclone. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the previous record was set by a hurricane lasting 31 days in 1994.
State broadcaster TVM said one person died when his house collapsed and the electricity utility had turned off electricity completely as a precaution. She added that all flights were suspended.
The hurricane is moving slowly, which meteorologists say means it will pick up more moisture from the sea, bringing heavy rains.
Scientists say climate change around the world is making hurricanes wetter, windier and stronger. The oceans absorb a lot of heat from greenhouse gas emissions, and when warm sea water evaporates, its heat energy is transferred to the atmosphere, creating more destructive storms.
More than 171,000 people have been affected after a cyclone swept through southern Mozambique last month, causing heavy rains and floods that destroyed crops and destroyed homes. OCHA put the death toll at 27 so far – 10 in Mozambique and 17 in Madagascar.
More than half a million people are at risk in Mozambique this time, mainly in the provinces of Zambezia, Tete, Sofala and Nampula.
Freddy, which is also expected to batter northeastern Zimbabwe and southeastern Zambia and Malawi, set a record for the highest accumulated hurricane energy, a measure of storm strength over time, of any Southern Hemisphere storm in history, according to the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
(Reporting by Manuel Mucari in Maputo and Tim Cox in Johannesburg). Writing by Tim Cox; Editing by Mike Harrison and John Stonestreet
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