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World Meteorological Organisation sets expert committee to evaluate Tropical Cyclone Freddy

Story By Oleen Ndori, Foreign Desk Editor

THE World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says it is setting up an expert committee to evaluate Tropical Cyclone Freddy which continues to pose a threat and is on track to break the record as the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record.

Freddy developed off the North Australian coast and became a named storm on 6 February. It crossed the entire South Indian Ocean and made landfall in Madagascar on 21 February and then in Mozambique on 24 February.

The storm spent several days tracking over Mozambique and Zimbabwe, bringing heavy rains and flooding. It then looped back towards the Mozambique Channel and picked up energy from the warm waters and moved towards the south-western coast of Madagascar.

According to WMO’s Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre La Reunion, Freddy is now moving away from Madagascar and is expected to intensify as it moves again towards Mozambique.

After bringing heavy rains to southern Madagascar, Freddy is heading to make a second landfall in Mozambique. It will bring yet more heavy rainfall, high winds, high seas and a large storm surge. With expected rainfall amounts of 100 to 150 mm are forecast, Malawi is likely to receive cumulative rainfall of 100 mm in 24 hours.

Four people have died in Madagascar due to the latest rains, bringing Freddy’s death toll to at least 21 people in Mozambique and Madagascar.

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