More than 200 people died in Malawi and Mozambique due to Cyclone Freddy hitting southern Africa for the second time, a number that has almost doubled since Tuesday, authorities said.
Mozambique authorities reported 20 dead and 24 injured, while Malawi, the country so far paying the highest price for the return of the tropical cyclone, has at least "190 dead, 584 injured and 37 missing," the agency said. National Disaster Management Office in a statement.
The cyclone unleashed torrential rains, which in turn triggered flooding and mudslides in the country, one of the poorest on the continent.
In the commercial capital of Malawi, Blantyre, many people died due to these mudslides, which swept away houses made mostly of earth and bricks.
The irregular settlement of Chilobwe, on the outskirts of the city, was one of the most affected and accounts for almost half of the victims.
In total, some 59,000 people have been affected by the cyclone and more than 19,000 have been displaced after their homes were destroyed or flooded.
The balance could rise further as the search and rescue efforts progress.
"We feel powerless and no one is helping us," John Witman, 80, told AFP in suburban Chilobwe, near Blantyre.
This old man is looking for his son-in-law, who disappeared in the collapse of his house after the sudden rise of the waters.
The inhabitants are convinced that there are dozens of bodies under the mud. The day before, families and rescuers searched through the rubble.
The hospital in the area is "overwhelmed by the arrival of the wounded," the NGO Doctors Without Borders warned in a statement, which fears a new outbreak of cholera.
After making a second landfall on Saturday night in Mozambique, causing 10 deaths, Freddy headed south of neighboring Malawi early Monday morning.
Freddy first struck southern Africa in late February, after forming off northwestern Australia. After traveling more than 10,000 km from east to west of the Indian Ocean, it made landfall in Madagascar and struck Mozambique. The balance was then 17 dead.
Following an unusual looping track, the cyclone made landfall again in Madagascar last week.
Freddy could become the longest-lasting tropical cyclone ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations agency. Typhoon John lasted 31 days in 1994.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project