Second cyclone in six weeks batters Mozambique

Damaged trees in Pemba city in Cabo Delgado province in the southern African nation of Mozambique yesterday after Cyclone Kenneth struck. The authorities have said there are concerns that five rivers as well as coastal waterways could overflow. Aroun
Damaged trees in Pemba city in Cabo Delgado province in the southern African nation of Mozambique yesterday after Cyclone Kenneth struck. The authorities have said there are concerns that five rivers as well as coastal waterways could overflow. Around 680,000 people were in the path of the storm. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JOHANNESBURG • Homes were destroyed and some areas were cut off and without power in Mozambique yesterday after Cyclone Kenneth made landfall - the second major storm to hit the country in six weeks.

The Category 4 storm battered northern parts of the country with winds gusting up to 280kmh after killing three people on the island nation of Comoros on Thursday.

The authorities have said there are concerns that five rivers as well as coastal waterways could overflow. Around 680,000 people were in the path of the storm.

Cyclone Idai had in March flattened Beira, Mozambique's fourth-largest city, and caused devastating floods, killing more than 1,000 people across southern Africa.

The World Food Programme said that Cyclone Kenneth could dump 600mm of rain in the area over the next 10 days, twice as much as Beira received after Cyclone Idai.

About 90 per cent of homes, mostly made of mud, may have been destroyed in Ibo, a district of northern province Cabo Delgado, where Cyclone Kenneth hit, according to an early report from local group Associacao Amigos de Pemba. Further south, in Quissanga, there were also reports of destroyed houses, it said.

 

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman Saviano Abreu, who was in Beira, where Cyclone Idai struck, said there were reports that Macomia was badly damaged, but details were scant. Macomia district is to the north of Quissanga.

International Federation of Red Cross official Michael Charles, who was in the Mozambique capital Maputo, said that heavy rain over the next few days was likely to bring a "second wave of destruction" in the form of flooding.

Flooding in the days after Cyclone Idai wrought the most death and destruction in central Mozambique, submerging entire villages, cutting areas off from aid and ruining crops.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2019, with the headline 'Second cyclone in six weeks batters Mozambique'. Print Edition | Subscribe