BLANTYRE, Malawi: Malawi's leader appealed on Wednesday for global support to tackle "a national tragedy" after Cyclone Freddy pummeled the Southeast African nation, causing flooding and mudslides that have killed hundreds.

The storm returned to the African coast over the weekend for a second time in less than three weeks, leaving a trail of death and destruction, but it had largely spared Malawi the first time around.

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