Tropical Cyclone Freddy Sets New Record as Longest-Lasting Storm

The United Nations’ weather agency has officially confirmed Tropical Cyclone Freddy as the longest-lasting cyclone on record, persisting for an unprecedented 36 days. This remarkable storm, which ravaged eastern Africa in 2023, surpassed the previous record held by Hurricane John, which lasted nearly 30 days in the northern Pacific three decades ago.

Freddy’s extraordinary longevity was matched by its extensive travels, covering a distance of approximately 12,785 kilometers (7,945 miles), making it the second-longest traveling cyclone in recorded history. The storm’s impact was devastating and far-reaching, with multiple landfalls across vulnerable countries in the region.

The cyclone’s destructive path left a tragic toll, particularly in Malawi, where over 1,200 people were reported dead or missing. Mozambique also suffered significant losses, with more than 180 fatalities attributed to the storm. The cyclone’s unusual behavior, including multiple landfalls and its prolonged duration, severely impacted the affected regions.

Freddy’s record-breaking characteristics highlight the increasing intensity and unpredictability of tropical storms, potentially linked to changing climate patterns. This event underscores the urgent need for improved early warning systems and disaster preparedness in vulnerable coastal areas, particularly in developing nations that often bear the brunt of such extreme weather events.

As climate scientists continue to analyze Freddy’s unique properties, this cyclone serves as a stark reminder of the evolving nature of tropical storms and the challenges they pose to communities in their path.

About Geraldine Boechat 2757 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia