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Authorities on Alert for Tropical Storm Freddy as it Approaches Southern Mozambique

Authorities on Alert for Tropical Storm Freddy as it Approaches Southern Mozambique

Tropical cyclone Freddy is now forecast to hit the coast of the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane on Friday night.

The cyclone has changed course somewhat, moving south-west, rather than directly west. It passed over Mauritius on Monday, causing the Mauritian authorities to ground all flights and shut the local stock exchange.

The brush with Mauritius slowed Freddy down, from a wind speed of 110 knots (204 kilometres an hour) to 95 knots. The cyclone is now approaching the east coast of Madagascar, and the World Food Programme warns that 2.3 million people on the island could be affected.

Since the intensity of cyclones lessens over land, Freddy will lose force as it crosses central Madagascar. It is forecast to enter the Mozambique Channel at about midday on Wednesday, and by that time its speed will have dropped to 45 knots [83.34 kilometres per hour].

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) predicts that Freddy will pass directly over the French possession of Europa Island, before making landfall on the Inhambane coast on Friday. The forecast wind speed is 65 knots (120.38 kilometres per hour ).

Freddy’s projected course will then take it towards Zimbabwe, but by then the cyclone is likely to be dissipating.



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