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Cyclone Freddy death toll rises to 7 in Madagascar

Image of a traditional house of the east coast of Madagascar destroyed in the aftermath of cyclone Freddy in Mananjary on February 23, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AFP

The death toll from Cyclone Freddy in Madagascar climbed to seven on Thursday as the winds that have battered the Indian Ocean for days started to ease before hitting Mozambique.

Madagascar’s government revised the death toll for the island from five to seven on Thursday and said average wind speeds were now reaching 65 kilometres (40 miles) per hour, with gusts of up to 90 kph.

Among the victims were four people who drowned and three killed when a house collapsed, Madagascar’s National Risk Management Office said.

A total of 78,078 people in Madagascar have been affected by the flooding caused by the torrential rain and strong winds that began lashing the island on Tuesday evening, with many forced to leave their homes.

Forecasters predict it will make landfall in central and southern Mozambique on Friday, with the eye of the storm hitting the African mainland at around 10:00 GMT.

Madagascar is typically hit several times during the annual November-April storm season.

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