Cyclone Freddy's deadly path towards SA: 4 dead in Madagascar - heavy rains warning issued for the weekend

Cyclone Freddy has since passed Madagascar and is expected to make landfall in Mozambique on Friday. Picture: SA Weather Service

Cyclone Freddy has since passed Madagascar and is expected to make landfall in Mozambique on Friday. Picture: SA Weather Service

Published Feb 23, 2023


Cape Town - As cyclone Freddy is expected to make landfall in Mozambique on Friday, it has already claimed four lives in Madagascar.

South Africans are likely to experience the effects of cyclone Freddy which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, News24 reported.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall which may lead to flooding in the north-eastern parts of South Africa.

Areas expected to be affected by the storm are parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

These are the same provinces currently recovering from widespread flooding and the damage incurred by the storms which hit.

Speaking to News24, forecaster for the South African Weather Service (Saws), Lehlohonolo Thobela said the storm was moving towards Mozambique and is likely to make landfall on Friday, with South Africans feeling the effect of the storm over the weekend.

While it is too early to predict the amount of rainfall, the provinces likely to be affected could see large amounts of rain that could lead to flooding, Thobela told the publication.

Earlier this week, Mauritius grounded all its flights as it kept a close eye on cyclone Freddy.

Just last week, a national state of disaster in response to floods in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal, the Northern Cape, Limpopo and parts of the North West was declared.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) was also hit hard by torrential rains and swelling rivers and roads, cutting off access to some of its camps.

But, earlier this week South African National Parks (SANParks) announced the reopening of Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie Camps after they were closed following floods in the South of the park.

KNP managing executive, Oscar Mthimkhulu said while some roads remained closed, alternative access routes were open.

“We can confirm that water has subsided enough for us to safely open the two rest camps. Access to Lower Sabie will be through Crocodile Bridge gate as the road via Skukuza is still inaccessible. Talamati Bush Camp is also open, and access to the camp will be through Orpen on S140 or from Satara on S36 then S145 from the east.

“Several gravel roads are still closed as assessments on their safe use continue; while Biyamiti Bush Camp and Sable Dam Hide are also still closed until further notice. KNP technical Services are busy with assessments to establish the extent of damage caused by the floods.

“Meanwhile, tourists and tour operators are still cautioned not to remove barriers that indicate closure on some of the gravel roads, for their own safety and that of their clients.

“Weather forecast for this week indicates a drying up period with rain; expected forecast to come back on Sunday, February 26, but mainly in the north,” Mthimkhulu said.

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