Cyclone Kenneth: Heavy destruction and first victims
Bent trees, covered houses, destroyed power lines: The tropical cyclone “Kenneth” has caused severe damage in Mozambique. The civil protection authority also reported the first victims.
For the second time in six weeks, a heavy cyclone hit Mozambique and caused severe damage. In the northern province of Cabo Delgado trees fell on houses and power lines, roofs were covered and huts were torn down, as the Mozambican-British news portal “Zitamar News” reported. The local airport has been closed and in many places power and telephone lines are broken.
700,000 people in danger
On the island of Ibo, where about 6,000 people live, the storm destroyed 90 percent of the houses, officials said. In anticipation of the storm, the inhabitants of the holiday island had fled with supplies to the fortress of Ibo. Overall, according to the Civil Protection Agency about 700,000 people live in the swath of the cyclone. More than 30,000 families had been taken to safety as a precaution according to media reports.
According to official sources, the storm has already claimed a first human life. In the northern city of Pemba, a man had been killed by a falling palm, said the civil protection authority INGC. On the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros, three people were killed yesterday when the storm hit the country.
Heavy rainfall and floods are expected
After that, tropical cyclone “Kenneth” reached the north of Mozambique on Thursday evening with wind speeds of up to 124 miles per hour. According to the state weather service, the force of the tropical cyclone on land decreased, but due to heavy rain floodings are expected. The United Nations had already warned of flooding and landslides before the cyclone. The nonprofit organization Care warned that there are not enough resources available if a second storm hits Mozambique.
Consequences of cyclone “Idai” not yet resolved
The Mozambican government and its international helpers are operating on their limits with the new storm. Cyclone “Idai” severely damaged the port city of Beira in mid-March. The hinterland disappeared underwater. Thousands of people had to be rescued by boats and helicopters. 1.8 million people needed help. Until today not all areas can be reached by roads. The crops were destroyed on 700,000 hectares of land.
In Mozambique alone, more than 600 people died. Another 300 were killed in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Then cholera hit: more than 5,000 people fell ill with diarrhea. Approximately 900,000 people received a dose of vaccine, after which the infection numbers fell, but the malaria cases increased. The World Bank estimates that $2 billion are needed for reconstruction, nearly half of Mozambique’s national budget.