By Staff Reporter
Tropical Cyclone Freddy has broken records for the duration and strength of tropical storms in the southern hemisphere.
According to CNN, the cyclone hit central Mozambique on Sunday and knocked down communications and electricity supply in the area.
More than 171 000 people were affected after the cyclone hit southern Mozambique last month, killing 27 people in Mozambique and Madagascar.
UNICEF said Freddy made landfall with sustained winds of nearly 150 kilometers per hour.
The cyclone caused “severe damage and cutting off children and families from critical services.”
Satellite data showed that after passing the port town of Quelimane, the storm continued inland towards the southern tip of neighboring Malawi.
Speaking to Reuters by satellite phone from Quelimane, Guy Taylor, the UNICEF chief of advocacy, communications and partnerships for Mozambique.
“The wind was very strong into the night … There is a lot of destruction, trees fallen down, roofs blown off. It’s potentially a disaster of large magnitude, and additional support will be needed,” said Taylor
Malawian authorities were expecting the cyclone to pass near the southern tip of the country by evening, bringing torrential rains and flooding.
Tropical Cyclone Freddy developed on 6 February off the northwest Australian coast, before tracking thousands of kilometres across the South Indian Ocean towards southeast Africa.
It affected the islands of Mauritius and La Réunion on the way to Madagascar, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.