Mozambique: Cyclone Freddy to Turn Around Again to Hit Quelimane a 2nd Time

Cyclone Freddy slowed down and did not hit Quelimane until Saturday evening, using the extra day to collect more energy and water. Freddy will weaken as it moves inland, but most forecasts are that it will turn around on Tuesday at the Malawi border and move back out to sea on Wednesday, with more heavy rain in Quelimane, where the total rainfall from Freddy could exceed 350 mm. Hitting Mozambique twice and turning back out to sea both times will be unprecedented for a Mozambican cyclone.

There was major damage to trees and buildings in Quelimane and all communications were cut. Electricity supply had been shut off as a precaution. EDM spokesman Luis Amando estimated 150 posts of media tension line, four transformer posts, and 7 km of low tension lines were damaged, leaving 100,000 people without power. TVM news footage from Sunday is on

Beira also had heavy rains and electricity cuts.

The chair of the National Disaster Management Institute (INGD), Luisa Meque, ordered the compulsory removal of people still living in flood-prone areas, in parts of  Zambezia, Sofala and Manica provinces threatened by cyclone Freddy. The INGD sent teams to assist in the removal of people from dangerous areas, particularly near the banks of the Licungo river. “We are focusing on compulsory removal”, said Meque. “The greater the number of people we remove from these areas, the fewer will be the number of human victims of the cyclone”. (AIM 12 Mar)

Mozambique has always had disasters. In the past four decades there have been 13 droughts (secas), 27 cyclones (ciclones), 36 floods (cheias) and 29 epidemics (epidemias) according to a new report from OMR. And it shows that extreme events have increased in Mozambique since 1995, almost surely due to the climate emergency:

Inundações em Moçambique: o factor humano como agravante, by Joao Mosca and Nehemias Lasse, Observatório do Meio Rural, Destaque Rural 209 (Portuguese only)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *