Malawi's death toll from prolonged tropical storm Freddy has risen to 190. This was announced by the civil protection authority of the Southeast African country.
The cyclone has wreaked havoc in south-east Africa for the second time in a month since late Friday evening. Neighboring Mozambique and the island nation of Madagascar are also affected.
At least 20,000 homeless
According to official figures, almost 800 people have been injured in Malawi due to heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides. 37 other people were reported missing. At least 20,000 people have become homeless, according to the civil protection agency. On Monday evening, the state television broadcaster MBC reported 99 fatalities. President Lazarus Chakwera then declared a disaster for the hardest hit region, southern Malawi.
At least 21 people have died in Mozambique since the weekend, according to rescue workers. There were also deaths in the island state of Madagascar. According to official information, a total of 238 people have died in the three countries in the past four weeks.
"Freddy" reached land for the first time on February 21 - in Madagascar. From there the storm moved on to Mozambique and then back across the Indian Ocean. On March 11, "Freddy" reached Mozambique and Malawi for the second time.
According to the World Weather Organization (WMO), the storm, which has been raging for more than a month, is likely to be the longest-lasting cyclone since weather records began. "Freddy" was declared a cyclone on February 6. Southern Africa is currently in cyclone season which can bring rain and severe storms through March or April.