Meteo France has described Freddy as an “intense tropical cyclone” and a “particularly powerful and compact tropical system, generating extreme winds near its center.” The much smaller islands of Mauritius and Reunion are on high alert as Freddy — churning westward on Friday about 2,000 kilometers (about 1,242 miles) east of Mauritius — was expected to cause flooding there Sunday and Monday.

In its latest briefing Friday afternoon, the United Nations regional weather observation center in Reunion said Freddy, which formed two weeks ago near Indonesia, was expected to make landfall early next week with the equivalent strength of a formidable Category 5 hurricane.

Another cyclone, Dingani, was weakening.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent in Madagascar said it was mobilizing its teams for the cyclone.

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Madagascar’s General Directorate of Meteorology has issued alerts for the Analanjirofo and Sava regions warning residents to take preventive measures as they expect a more powerful Freddy to make landfall, between Tuesday and Wednesday next week on the country’s east coast.

The mainland African coastal nations of Mozambique and South Africa, alongside Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, were on high alert for heavy rains and thunderstorms from Freddy in the coming week.

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