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Mozambique to Be Struck a Second Time by Record-Breaking Cyclone Freddy

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: March 8, 2023
A house at the east coast of Madagascar was destroyed after Cyclone Freddy struck the island on Feb. 23, 2023. (Image: Jose Lesoa/AFP via Getty Images)

Forecasts indicate that Cyclone Freddy, one of the world’s longest-lasting tropical storms, will be hitting Mozambique a second time later this week. 

After already hitting Madagascar twice as of Mar. 6, the persistent cyclone has lasted an entire month, and is poised to strike again.

A month-old cyclone

The government in Madagascar reported that eight people were killed, with 1,000 homes devastated due to the storm. Altogether, the storm has ravaged the southeast regions of Africa, taking the lives of 21 people and resulting in more displacements in both Madagascar and Mozambique.

Mozambique’s first encounter with the storm, on Feb. 24, claimed the lives of 10 people and 8,000 people lost their homes, after some 28,300 houses were destroyed.

Such a loop for a storm is said to be a rare occurrence, meteorologists told the BBC.

As Mozambique prepares for a second landfall, it continues to recover from the cyclone’s first landfall, with rains and floods still rampant. According to the Guardian, central and southern Mozambique has faced 300 to 600 millimeters of rainfall. Madagascar has also seen unusual amounts of rainfall, three times more than the usual monthly average.

Cyclone Freddy formed on the north Australian Coast in early February before making its way across the southern Indian Ocean, traveling thousands of kilometers towards Africa, breaking records for its strength. The storm is almost as powerful as a Category 5 hurricane. Mauritius and La Reunion were already hit two weeks before Madagascar was struck.

Experts believe that Cyclone Freddy’s trajectory is a rare path for storms to take.


When measured by the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index — a metric used by meteorologists to calculate the time and strength of storms and hurricanes — Cyclone Freddy could be set to become a world record holder for the longest-lived tropical storm in history, overthrowing Hurricane/Typhoon Ioke in August and September 2006, according to Philip Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University.

“Freddy has just surpassed several storms for ACE including Paka (1997), Ivan (2004) and John (1994),” Klotzbach said in an email. “It currently stands in 2nd place behind Ioke for most ACE for a single tropical cyclone since 1980. Prior to that time, data in the Southern Hemisphere gets really sketchy!”

It also holds the record for the highest accumulated cyclone energy in the southern hemisphere; a measure of its strength over time.

“At this time, it does appear to be a new record holder for ‘longest-lasting’ recorded tropical cyclone… but we are continuing to monitor the situation,” Randall Cerveny, the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) rapporteur for weather and climate extremes, said in a news release, the Washington Post reported.

The Weather and Climate Extremes evaluation committee of the United Nations (UN) announced that it will prepare an investigation into the abnormal event once the cyclone has subsided.

Elsewhere in Africa, eastern Zimbabwe also experienced torrential rain over the weekend, with around 200 to 400 millimeters of rain as of Mar. 9, the Guardian wrote.