Tropical Storm Freddy has wreaked havoc in southern Africa for the second time in a month, leaving at least 190 people dead in Malawi. Brown water has cascaded through neighborhoods, sweeping away homes and leaving more than 20,000 people displaced. Malawi’s commercial hub, Blantyre, has recorded most of the deaths, including dozens of children.
The government has declared a state of disaster in 10 southern districts that have been hardest hit by the storm. Rescue workers are overwhelmed, using shovels to try to find survivors buried in mud. The death toll is expected to rise as some areas remain cut off due to relentless rain and fierce wind.
The collapse of roads and bridges has hampered rescue operations, while helicopters cannot be used because of the heavy rains and strong winds. Freddy has broken records for the strength it accumulated over the 8,000-km path it traveled across the Indian Ocean from northwestern Australia.
The storm has also crippled Malawi’s power supply, with most parts of the country experiencing prolonged blackouts. The damage caused by the storm is expected to have a significant impact on the country’s economy and infrastructure.
The situation in Malawi is dire, with rescue workers struggling to cope with the scale of the disaster. The government and aid organizations are working to provide assistance to those affected by the storm, but the scale of the damage is immense.
Tropical storms and cyclones are not uncommon in southern Africa, but the severity of the damage caused by Freddy highlights the need for greater investment in disaster preparedness and infrastructure. The international community has pledged to provide assistance to the affected countries, but more needs to be done to prevent similar disasters from occurring in the future.
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