The death toll from Cyclone Freddy’s second assault on Madagascar rose to 8 on Tuesday as it strengthened on its way to Mozambique, authorities said.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Freddy, which originated off northwestern Australia in early February, was on track to become the longest tropical cyclone on record.
The Malagasy government said more than 40,000 people have been affected and more than 14,000 displaced since the cyclone returned to hit the island after following an unusual path.
In total, at least 15 people have died in Madagascar since Freddy first hit at the end of February, bringing strong winds and torrential rains.
One person is still missing and more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed, the government said Tuesday.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the cyclone was in the Mozambique Channel, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of the coastal city of Toliara, with wind gusts of up to 180 kilometers per hour.
About ten storms or cyclones cross the southwestern Indian Ocean each year during the cyclone season, which runs from November to April.