BLANTYRE, Malawi—The devastating Tropical Cyclone Freddy which has ripped through southern Africa in a rare second landfall has killed at least 219 people in Malawi and Mozambique since Saturday night, with the death toll expected to rise.
Heavy rains that triggered floods and mudslides have killed 199 people in Malawi, authorities said Tuesday. President Lazarus Chakwera declared a “state of disaster” in the country’s southern region and the now-ravaged commercial capital, Blantyre. Some 19,000 people in the south of the nation have been displaced, according to Malawi’s disaster management directorate.
“Power and communications are down in many affected areas, hindering aid operations,” said Stephane Dujarric, the U.N. Secretary General’s spokesperson at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon. The most affected regions remain inaccessible so the full extent of the damage is so far unknown.
Reports from Mozambique’s disaster institute on Tuesday confirmed that 20 people have died in the country and 1,900 homes have been destroyed in the coastal Zambezia province. Tens of thousands of people are still holed up in storm shelters and accommodation centers.
Freddy will continue to thump central Mozambique and southern Malawi with rainfall before it exits back to the sea late Wednesday afternoon, the U.N.’s meteorological center on the island of Réunion projected.