Cyclone Freddy is a severe storm that has caused extensive damage and displacement in several countries in southeastern Africa and the Indian Ocean region. After hitting Madagascar for the second time, the death toll has reached 21, and the storm is expected to make landfall again in Mozambique later this week.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has described the storm's behaviour as meteorologically "remarkable" as it has been spinning over the Indian Ocean for 32 days, which may make it the longest-lasting storm on record. The WMO has stated that it will take several months to evaluate whether Cyclone Freddy has broken the record set by Hurricane John in 1994, which lasted for 31 days.
Cyclone Freddy has already broken records for the strength it has accumulated and the 8,000-km (5,000-mile) path it travelled across the Indian Ocean. The storm developed off the north Australian coast in early February and has affected several countries in the region, including Mauritius, La Réunion, Madagascar, and Mozambique.
According to the UN World Food Programme, more than 160,000 people have already been affected by Cyclone Freddy, and Mozambique is bracing for a second landfall while still recovering from the rains and floods brought by the storm. Meanwhile, Madagascar received around three times its usual monthly average rainfall in the past week alone.