Cyclone Freddy is on track to hammer Madagascar with extreme winds and significant flooding early this week. The first Category 5 storm of 2023, Freddy is the second-strongest of only February Category 5 storms ever recorded.

[embedded content]

Cyclone Freddy has weakened somewhat over the weekend as dry air reduced its intensity, but it could still hit Madagascar as a Category 3 or Category 4 storm on Tuesday with winds around 130 mph.

Along with threats of dangerous coastal surge and wind damage, the storm brings heightened flooding threats because it closely follows Cyclone Cheneso in late January, which killed at least 33 people, left 34,000 homeless, and saturated soils across the island nation [and barely garnered any Western media coverage, including in Hot News — Ed.].

<img aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-287954″ data-attachment-id=”287954″ data-permalink=”” data-orig-file=”” data-orig-size=”1194,670″ data-comments-opened=”1″ data-image-meta=”{“aperture”:”0″,”credit”:””,”camera”:””,”caption”:””,”created_timestamp”:”0″,”copyright”:””,”focal_length”:”0″,”iso”:”0″,”shutter_speed”:”0″,”title”:””,”orientation”:”0″}” data-image-title=”Screenshot (64)” data-image-description data-image-caption=”

VIIRS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Freddy on Feb. 16, 2023. (Image credit: NASA Worldview)

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” class=”size-full wp-image-287954″ src=”” alt width=”1194″ height=”670″ srcset=” 1194w, 400w, 800w, 768w, 1024w,×337.png 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 1194px) 100vw, 1194px”>

“According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Freddy peaked with 165 mph winds at 0Z Feb. 16 (7 p.m. EST Feb. 15). According to NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks website, this makes Freddy one of only five category 5 storms ever recorded in February on Earth. The only February storm stronger than Freddy (by wind speed) was Tropical Cyclone Winston of 2016, which peaked with 180 mph winds near Fiji on Feb. 20, 2016,” reports