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Death Toll from Cyclone Freddy Tops 100 as U.N. Scientists Finalize Climate Action Plan

HeadlineMar 14, 2023

In southern Africa, more than 100 people have been killed in Malawi and Mozambique after Cyclone Freddy brought high winds and heavy rain to the region. Most of the dead were in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre, where overnight mudslides washed away homes and buried sleeping residents. 

Robert Khembo: “It was too bad in the night, but now that it is daytime, I can feel the loss. I have never seen something as terrible as this. My neighbors’ houses are all gone. The family members are gone. They are missing. In some instances, the father is alive, but the wife and the children are gone.”

Cyclone Freddy was one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere and the longest-lasting tropical cyclone on record. It made landfall for a second time as scientists with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change met in Switzerland to finalize its policy document for shaping climate action over the rest of the decade. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres addressed IPCC delegates by video. 

Secretary-General António Guterres: “This will be the first comprehensive IPCC report in nine years and the first since the Paris Agreement on climate change. It could not come at a more pivotal time. Our world is at a crossroads, and our planet is in the crosshairs. We are nearing the point of no return, of overshooting the internationally agreed limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. We are at the tip of the tipping point.”

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