Africa: Cyclone Freddy's Deadly Trail of Destruction a Grim Reminder of the Need to Prioritise Climate Adaptation


Freddy, the longest-lived tropical cyclone on record, has left devastation in its wake in Malawi and Mozambique.

Tropical Cyclone Freddy has become the longest-lived tropical cyclone on record and the first tropical cyclone to hit both Mozambique and Madagascar twice.

"Initially, 14 people lost their lives in Madagascar and Mozambique. But after the second landfall, the loss of life was much greater," SA Weather Service (SAWS) forecaster Wayne Venter told Daily Maverick, with the death toll on Tuesday surpassing 200.

A woman walks on a flooded street near Quelimane, as Cyclone Freddy hits in Quelimane, Mozambique, 11 March 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Andre Catueira)

In an unprecedented turn of events, after making landfall in Madagascar on 21 February and Mozambique on 24 February, instead of continuing westwards as tropical cyclones typically do, Freddy returned to the Mozambique Channel, gathering energy from the ocean, and hitting Madagascar again before heading back to Mozambique.

Read more in Daily Maverick: "Ready for Freddy? SA must prepare for more intense weather events"

Freddy made its second landfall in Mozambique on 11 March, displacing 22,000 people (with 10 confirmed deaths by Tuesday) and then moved inland towards southern Malawi.

As the death toll in Malawi...

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