Tropical Storm Freddy has killed at least 99 people in Southeast Africa’s Malawi. The storm hit the south of the continent for the second time in a month.
Huge amounts of water poured through neighborhoods and washed away entire homes.
The highest number of people died in the commercial center of Blantyre, 85, of which 36 died in the landslide, according to the BBC.
The government has declared a state of calamity in the 10 worst-hit districts.
Paramedics are overworked. Shovels are being searched for possible survivors buried in the mud.
The death toll is expected to rise, as some areas are still cut off from the world.
The main hospital in Blantyre says they cannot accept all the bodies as their mortuary is running out of space.
The storm also paralyzed the supply of electricity in the country. In most of Malawi, people are facing extended blackouts.
The state electricity company announced that it could not make the hydroelectric plant operational because it was full of debris.
Densely populated poorer communities are the worst hit. Some of the poorly constructed houses of the local residents collapsed, others were completely washed away by the water.
The UN warns that the storm could worsen the cholera outbreak, one of Malawi’s worst health crises.
Freddy is the strongest tropical cyclone and could also be the longest-lasting, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
On Sunday, the storm hit Mozambique for the second time in less than a month, having previously hit Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, where it wreaked havoc.
It is difficult to estimate the extent of the damage and the number of dead in Mozambique, as in some parts of the country there is still no electricity or mobile phone signal. So far, around ten deaths have been reported from there.
Experts warn that climate change is making tropical storms even stronger.