Storm floods California, returning cyclone batters Mozambique

Separate storms dump rains on California and Mozambique

A California storm caused a river to overflow and flood a largely Latino community overnight into Saturday while nearly 17,000 kilometers away in Mozambique, a cyclone returned and battered the south African country with heavy rains and strong winds.

The Pajaro River in Monterey County overflowed at about midnight Friday, Luis Alejo, its supervisor, said Saturday on Twitter.

Friday night, United States emergency services director Nancy Ward announced that the storm had already claimed at least two lives, according to Agence France-Presse.

Images posted on Twitter by the state’s National Guard account showed guardsmen rescuing residents trapped in their cars by high water.

The area remained under a flood warning Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Part of a powerful atmospheric river known as a “Pineapple express” — for the warm, subtropical moisture it brings from Hawaii — this latest storm will speed the melting of the enormous snowpack that has built up in higher elevations of California.

The resulting runoff threatens to aggravate already serious flooding.

Meanwhile, “Cyclone Freddy” made landfall near the eastern Mozambique seaport of Quelimane district, Zambezia province at around 10 p.m. as it kept on track to become the longest-lasting cyclone on record.

Authorities and the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said heavy rains and winds caused water levels at several river basins to rise to above alert level.

“There is already quite substantial flooding,” Guy Taylor, a spokesperson for the UN children’s agency UNICEF, told AFP from Quelimane earlier on Saturday.

On Friday, authorities said more than half a million people were at risk.

The storm was expected to drop up to 400 millimeters of rain over the next few days, more than twice the usual monthly rainfall.

No casualty was reported so far.

According to the UN World Meteorological Organization, Freddy, formed off northwestern Australia in the first week of February

It crossed the entire southern Indian Ocean and battered Madagascar from 21 February, crossing the island before reaching Mozambique on 24 February.

Following what meteorologists describe as a “rare” loop trajectory, Freddy then headed back towards Madagascar before moving once more towards Mozambique.

During the first deadly visit it destroyed, damaged or flooded more than 28,000 homes, affecting about 166,000 people.

In total, Freddy has so far killed at least 27 people — 10 in Mozambique and 17 in Madagascar.


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