The alert is at its maximum for African countries bordering the Indian Ocean. Tropical Cyclone Freddy was heading towards Mozambique on Wednesday night, after losing power but causing five deaths in Madagascar.

More than 16,600 Malagasy have been affected in total, with some 4,500 homes flooded or damaged, said the National Risk Management Bureau (BNGRC). Thousands of people had been placed in emergency shelters as a preventive measure. The full extent of the damage is being assessed.

Freddy expected Friday in Mozambique

Meteo-France reported that Freddy had weakened while crossing Madagascar and that the average wind speed had dropped to 55 km/h. But the agency warned that the cyclone would continue to advance towards the African continent and that it could regain strength in the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel.

It is expected to make landfall on Friday in areas between central and southern Mozambique, more than 500 km north of the capital Maputo, and could potentially reach Zimbabwe. The government of Mozambique has declared a red alert and put emergency services on alert.

Considered a "supercyclone" by forecasters, with extreme winds averaging 220 km/h and gusts of up to 320 km/h, it did not have a devastating effect either in Reunion or Mauritius where it did not make landfall. The cyclone, born in early February at the tip of Bali and which crossed the entire Indian Ocean arrived Tuesday night weakened in Madagascar with winds down to 130 km / h on average.

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