Accompanied by a fierce tropical low-pressure system (cyclone), Freddy is demonstrating its influence as it crosses the Indian Ocean. Experts have expressed concern that Cyclone Freddy is “the longest-lasting and most powerful cyclone on record.”
According to overseas media such as The Washington Post on the 12th (local time), Cyclone Freddy occurred in January of this year and has been active in the Australian and southwestern Indian Oceans.
After landing in Madagascar on February 21st, it landed in Mozambique three days later on the 24th. While Freddy stayed in Mozambique and Zimbabwe for a few days, heavy rain and flooding occurred in the region. After it was expected to dissipate, Freddy returned to the southwestern coast of Madagascar, heading towards the Mozambique Channel.
It is believed that the reason for the prolonged duration of tropical low-pressure systems like Cyclone Freddy is due to the warm ocean water.
On the 9th, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that Freddy had not dissipated upon landing but rather gained energy from warm water and increased its strength, stating that it would set a new record for the longest-lasting tropical low-pressure system.
Additionally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States reported that the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), which is a combined measure of the intensity and duration of storms in the southern hemisphere, was the highest ever observed.
On the 12th, as it moved from Madagascar to Mozambique again, Freddy generated winds of about 90 km/h according to Mozambique local time.
On the 13th, Reuters reported, “As Cyclone Freddy sets new records for duration and intensity, hundreds of refugees have been displaced,” and “communication and power supply in affected areas have been cut off, making it difficult to accurately assess the damage and number of casualties. At least one person has died so far.”
Furthermore, “Last month, as Freddy swept through Mozambique and Madagascar, 27 people died, and 171,000 people were affected by the disaster,” Reuters added. “According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), more than 500,000 people in Mozambique alone are at risk of being affected by Freddy.”
Experts have agreed that climate change is making cyclones like Freddy more intense.
“The dangerous journey of Cyclone Freddy continues,” said the WMO, explaining that “Freddy has crossed the entire Indian Ocean from east to west. This is a very unusual meteorological phenomenon.”