Response Updates

Cyclone Freddy Devastates Southeastern Africa: Response Underway

Mozambique Reported by Convoy of Hope

March 24, 2023 | 10:54 a.m.

Convoy of Hope is working with local partners in Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique to provide relief to survivors of Cyclone Freddy. Freddy — an exceptionally long-lived, powerful, and deadly storm — traversed the southern Indian Ocean for more than five weeks. Forming on February 4, it made landfall in Madagascar on February 21. A short time later, Freddy made a second landfall in Mozambique. 

Unexpectedly, the system managed to survive after weakening overland and emerged back over the Mozambique channel in the beginning of March. Over the course of 10 days, the storm rapidly intensified twice, hitting Madagascar again and making another landfall in northern Mozambique. It finally dissipated on March 14, leaving behind a terrible amount of destruction.

“The cyclone has left an appalling humanitarian situation in its wake … increased and concerted humanitarian assistance is needed,” said World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti, as quoted by the Associated Press.

Infrastructure in the impact zone is widely damaged. Freddy destroyed houses, crops, roads, and hospitals as it ripped through southeastern Africa. Some parts of the region received more than 12 inches of rain, triggering catastrophic flash floods in Malawi. The Associated Press is reporting more than 600 deaths. 

Additionally, Freddy hit amid a severe outbreak of cholera in the region, compounding the epidemic. Fears of increased malnutrition among the thousands of displaced families bring a sense of urgency to the situation.

Cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons are all the same type of intense storm. The difference is where the storm forms. Freddy formed over the Indian Ocean, classifying it as a cyclone. Tropical cyclones typically last for days or even weeks. But Cyclone Freddy exceeded expectations and lasted over a month, securing its spot as the longest lasting cyclone in recorded history. 
To donate to the relief efforts for Cyclone Freddy, click here.



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