Praia Nova Village in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai
Mozambique, the southern neighbour of Malawi, is bracing for Cyclone Freddy which is predicted to make landfall in the country on Friday, February 24th.
The storm is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rains at a time when water levels in rivers in the region are already high, which raises concerns of potential severe flooding affecting over 600,000 people in Inhambane, Sofala, and Zambezia provinces in the south and central parts of the country.
Heavy rains are also expected in the capital city of Maputo. Freddy was first spotted on February 6th off the Australian coast and is one of only four systems known to traverse the entire Southern Indian Ocean. It hit Madagascar on February 21st and is projected to re-strengthen as it crosses the Mozambique channel.
Christine Beasley, CARE International Country Director said they are concerned about about the impact of this cyclone.
“We have dispatched emergency teams and trucks of emergency supplies today, February 22nd, to Inhambane province, which is projected to be hit hardest. The teams will be there to respond to the situation as it evolves. We are working with local and international partners to ensure that we support the affected communities.”
The severity of cyclones and tropical storms in Southern Africa has continued to increase in intensity over the years due to climate change. In 2022, Mozambique experienced two tropical storms and one tropical cyclone. Cyclone Gombe affected over 700,000 people, leading to 63 deaths as it destroyed over 91,000 hectares of farmland and over 69 health centers according to the Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction.
Meanwhile, CARE Mozambique is prepositioning tarpaulins for temporary shelter, soap, solar lanterns, and chlorine for water treatment in addition to other relief supplies that will be distributed to the people affected. As the cyclone dissipates, CARE alongside the government and partners will engage in a comprehensive assessment of the situation to identify what more is required.
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