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Freddy effects still linger on

LILONGWE. – Over a week after Tropical Storm Freddy’s second and more devastating landfall in Malawi and Mozambique and nearly a month since it battered Madagascar, the effects are still being felt as locals, officials and aid workers continue to uncover the full extent of the cyclone’s destruction.

In Malawi the death toll has reached 447 people, with 282 others missing and close to 400 000 people still displaced, authorities in the country said. Malawi’s southern region, including the financial capital of Blantyre, was the worst affected. In Mozambique, some 66 people have died and 59,000 are still displaced, according to local authorities.

Many people, including children “are traumatised by the cyclone,” said Palal Areman, from the aid agency Save the Children and based in Blantyre. “They were brought to the hospital with head injuries, broken limbs, and bruises, while others looked worried or had no family members.”

The United Nations emergency fund on Monday released $5,5 million to Malawi to assist communities affected by Cyclone Freddy.

Flooding in the Shire River valley in southern Malawi remains a major impediment to search and rescue efforts, aid agencies said. The World Food Programme said on Monday 1 500 people had been rescued by boats in Malawi’s flooded river valley.

Cyclones have been worsened by human-caused climate change, with warming temperatures making cyclones, wetter, more intense and more frequent. Richer nations that have industrialized have caused much of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change with more vulnerable countries often bearing the brunt. – AP

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