Cyclone brings destruction, disease to Malawi, Mozambique

Cyclone Freddy destroyed many structures in Mozambique. — Patricio Milange Cyclone Freddy destroyed many structures in Mozambique. — Patricio Milange

Anabaptist members in Malawi and Mozambique were impacted significantly by Cyclone Freddy, an ex­ceptionally long-lived tropical storm that battered Southeast Africa for more than five weeks in February and March with heavy rains and high winds.

Winds reached speeds of 165 mph, weakened over land but strengthened again in the Mozambique Channel. Catastrophic flooding in Malawi killed about 500 people. Madagascar was still reeling from the impacts of 2022 cyclones Batsirai and Emnati.

Water washed away houses, roads, electricity poles and bridges in Malawi. Brethren in Christ church members from Blantyre, Phalombe and Mulanje districts are displaced. A cholera outbreak was worsened by crowded conditions, lack of food and lack of sanitary facilities. Leaders in Phalombe reported more than a dozen Brethren in Christ church members died.

In Mozambique, collapsed houses forced people in Milange, Tete and Mocuba to shelter in Brethren in Christ church buildings or local schools.

Church buildings collapsed in Tete and Alto Mulocoe, and the district pastor’s house collapsed in Sena District.

“We ask that you continue to pray for us. God [is] in charge of our lives,” said Mubecane Filipe Manharage, national bishop of Brethren in Christ Church Mozambique.

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