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Freddy is officially the longest Southern Hemisphere cyclone on record. It’s been spinning for 35 days

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Mozambique is once again grappling with the consequences of Cyclone Freddy. The phenomenon has been circulating in the southern hemisphere for 35 days, making it the longest-lasting cyclone on record for this part of the world.

Cyclone Freddy hit Mozambique on Saturday. At least one person died as a result of the violent weather. Lots of houses have been destroyed. As reported by local media, one port city was almost completely cut off from the world.

Tropical cyclone Freddy in a satellite image on March 11, 2023earthdata.nasa.gov

Wreaks havoc

Freddy is one of the strongest thunderstormsever recorded in the southern hemisphere. The phenomenon made landfall around 10 p.m. local time and immediately threw up masses of rain.

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– No shops or businesses are working. Everything is closed,” reported Vania Massinque from Quelimane in the province of Zambezia. – I see that some houses have their roofs removed, their windows are broken and the streets are flooded. It’s really terrifying,’ she said.

Interestingly, this is the second time a cyclone has hit Mozambique. An earlier event was reported on February 24.

>>> More about the Cyclone Freddy trek: An impressive rally. The record from almost 30 years ago may be broken

Projected track of Cyclone FreddyJTWC

Long and strong

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Freddy has been spinning for 35 days. The element broke the record for the longest-lasting tropical cyclone in history. The previous record holder from 1994 was supposed to hold for 31 days. There are many indications that Freddy has not yet said the last word. Because it moves very slowly, meteorologists do not rule out that it will gain strength if it only changes its route and is over the water again. According to the US National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), it is possible that Freddy will break another dangerous record – the highest accumulated cyclone energy in the southern hemisphere.

Scientists are sure that climate change is responsible for the intensification of hurricanes and tropical cyclones. As the average global temperature – and thus the water surface – increases, these phenomena become wetter and stronger.

It is estimated that over 171,000 people have already been affected by the consequences of Cyclone Freddy in Mozambique alone. More than half a million people are still at risk. During its 34-day journey, the cyclone has already claimed 27 lives – 10 from Mozambique and 17 from Madagascar.

Main photo source: earthdata.nasa.gov

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