Mozambique Braces for Rare Double Cyclone Strike

Cyclone Freddy

Mozambique is preparing for a rare second strike by Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which has already caused significant damage in the region. The cyclone is expected to intensify on as it approaches coastal Mozambique, with winds averaging 110 kilometers per hour and gusts of 155kph. It is forecast to make landfall in Zambezia, the country’s second most populous province.

Meteorologists are baffled by Freddy’s constant shift of direction and multiple record-breaking feats, including intensifying four separate times, which is a first for a southern hemisphere tropical cyclone. Freddy holds the world record for accumulated cyclone energy, a metric that gauges a cyclone’s strength over time.

The storm has already caused significant damage, killing 21 people across Madagascar and Mozambique, and affecting over 213,000 people, destroying more than 28,000 homes in the Mozambican capital of Maputo and nearby provinces. Despite early warnings and preparations, the cyclone poses severe weather risks, including strong winds and dangerous sea conditions.

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French weather agency Météo-France said in a bulletin on Tuesday that as Freddy gathers more pace, it also poses severe weather risks to Toliara, the capital of Madagascar’s Atsimo-Andrefana region. It said strong winds and the sea remained “dangerous due to the cyclonic swell”. The cyclone is currently soaking southern Madagascar as it hovers over the channel.

The UN weather agency said Freddy was on course to become the longest-lived tropical cyclone in history after traversing the entire Indian Ocean for a month. Climate scientists warn that climate change is intensifying cyclones, making them longer, wetter, and more frequent in the south-west Indian Ocean. November to April is classified as the cyclone season in the south-west Indian Ocean.

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