Last night cyclone Kenneth slammed into Northern Mozambique with devastating force. This coming just a month after cyclone Idai hit the country’s centre, leaving hundreds dead and total devastation in its wake with damages exceeding $2 billion . Cyclone Idai was the most powerful storm to hit the area in decades impacting neighbouring countries Malawi and Zimbabwe.
Prior to making landfall on the north coast of Mozambique, cyclone Kenneth ran over Comoros subjecting the island nation to extreme storms and high seas leaving 3 people dead overnight. Warnings of flash flooding and landslides have been issued. Throughout Mozambique, trees have been brought to the ground, fishing boats sunk and cities left in darkness.
Forecasters at Meteo-France have warned that Kenneth could bring with it large swells off Mozambique’s northeastern shore with waves expected to reach up to five metres larger than usual.
“The Cyclone is expected to bring heavy rains in the area for several days, with over 600 millimetres of rainfall expected,” stated the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement. To put it into perspective, the flooding that occurred as a result of cyclone Idai over 10 days brought with it just over 300 millimetres of rainfall.
A spokesman for Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) said the government had evacuated 30,000 people from areas likely to be hit by the cyclone.
“The compulsory evacuation process will continue until we have all people in secure ground,” INGC spokesman Paulo Tomas said. The INGC said it had food supplies ready to assist 140,000 people for 15 days.
Rescue South Africa has stated that they have a team on standby to deal with Cyclone Kenneth. Although Cyclone Kenneth is not expected to be as powerful as Cyclone Idai, the impact could be more severe, with more than half a million people at risk this time.
Rescue South Africa CEO Ian Sher: “Hopefully it will not be as powerful but if it is as powerful or increases in power, it could be even worse on the population to the north. They’re not used to these cyclones – people don’t even know what to do.”