AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Five dead and 15,000 displaced: first toll of Cyclone Kenneth, less than a month from Idai

Monday, 29 April 2019 natural disasters  


Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - Hurricane Kenneth made landfall on Thursday 25 April with the force of a Category 4 hurricane, on a scale of up to 5. The strong winds up to 280 km/h hit the northern regions, especially the area between Pemba and Mocimboa. Reports from the affected areas speak of trees, houses destroyed and blackouts.
"The impact on the population was lower compared to what cyclone Idai did in the province of Beira - explains Giovanna De Meneghi, country manager of CUAMM, Doctors with Africa in Mozambique -. In my opinion for two reasons. First of all because the North is less densely populated. Secondly, because here the huts are built with mud and straw. Wind and water destroyed them, but there were no collateral damage like in Beira where the tin roofs hit the people, killing them".
Cyclone Kenneth had already passed over the Comoros Islands, leaving behind three victims and damage. According to experts, the hurricane found "favorable conditions for its own development, in particular due to warmer sea temperatures than normal". Therefore it was able to increase its power, assuming "extremely rare characteristics" for the area.
The United Nations fears floods and landslides in the province of Cabo Delgado, on the border with Tanzania.
"Pemba is flooded - continues Giovanna De Meneghi - and also many rural areas. What we fear is the flooding of the rivers. These new and intense rainfalls could further increase the level and could lead to overflow. Obviously we hope that this does not happen. Meanwhile we are carefully monitoring the situation and we are evaluating how we can help the local people, including our own local collaborators, some of whom have lost everything". (EC) (Agenzia Fides, 29/4/2019)