Cyclone Freddy Persists, Leaving Dozens More Dead in Africa, Red Cross Says

A storm that has broken records for its longevity — now 35 days — swept inland from the southeastern coast of Africa and is causing massive flooding and displacement.

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By Golden Matonga and Lynsey Chutel

LILONGWE, Malawi — Cyclone Freddy, the longest-lasting tropical cyclone ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, swept in from the southeastern coast of Africa and traveled to the landlocked nation of Malawi, where by Monday it was responsible for at least 66 deaths, the Red Cross said.

Large swaths of Blantyre, the second-largest city in Malawi, were hit by flooding and mudslides, and the government declared a state of disaster.

Schools were closed, flights were canceled, and rescue workers frantically dug through mud and collapsed buildings in an effort to save lives. Police and aid workers said they anticipated that there would be more found dead and injured.

“The figures might rise because there is a lot of rubble, especially in Blantyre,” said Felix Washoni, spokesman for the Red Cross in Malawi. “There might be some bodies that are buried in the rubble.”

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