By Shibani Clington Fernando
On the evening of 22nd of February 2023, it was suspected that the tropical Cyclone Freddy would hit the coast of Mozambique with potentially ferocious winds and heavy rainfall that was expected to reach the maximum of 200mm of rain over twenty four hours. The citizens were warned that there could be possible floodings in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
On the 11th of March Freddy arrived at Mozambique, causing mass destruction. However, this fierce cyclone also caused a lot of grief in Malawi. It has been confirmed that more than 500 people were injured and more than 190 people died.
The Malawi Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change claimed that the cyclone is “weakening but [would] continue to cause torrential rains … in most parts of Southern Malawi districts.” This report also said that, “The threat of heavy flooding and damaging winds still remain[ed] very high.”
A commissioner from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs agency, James Kalemba, announced that there had been immense flooding causing road blockages and bridges to be cut. He also said there was zero visibility and no electricity. The rescue operations were also affected by the poor weather, nearly being halted entirely. “[The situation is] becoming more and more dire,” Kalemba says. The rescue operators used machinery to help those struggling but the machines could not excavate due to the rains.