Malawi: Cyclone Freddy deaths climb into hundreds

STORY: Deaths from one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the southern hemisphere have mounted into the hundreds in Malawi, the government said on Tuesday (March 14).

After Cyclone Freddy ripped through southern Africa for the second time in a month.

The district around the commercial hub of Blantyre was one of the hardest-hit. Severe flooding and rain damaged roads and bridges, hampering rescue efforts.

In Blantyre, mud poured into homes. Resident Aaron Ntambo:

"A child was trapped up to her head in the mud. She was crying for help. Even though the water was very strong, we managed to cross and rescue her. It was very difficult but we managed to pull her out."

Grief-stricken families stood in line at a Blantyre mortuary waiting to identify and collect the dead.

Freddy has also left a trail of destruction in Mozambique, where it made landfall over the weekend.

The full extent of the damage and loss of life is still unclear, but more than 22,000 people there were seeking shelter away from their homes.

As heavy rains continued to pummel Malawi, more than 500 people have been injured and scores are missing, according to the Department for Disaster Management Affairs.

Mudslides have made it difficult to get relief to those affected.

Freddy could sweep through Mozambique's Zambezia province again, bringing more wind and rain.