Mozambique and Comoros brace for cyclone Kenneth

Violent winds caused landslides and flooding and cut off roads in Comoros in the vanguard of tropical storm Kenneth, set to hit on Wednesday evening before heading to recently cyclone-ravaged Mozambique, officials said.

As the storm neared, schools were closed and inter-island hopper flight suspended.

Chief of the Comoros Centre for Relief and Civil Protection Centre (COSEP) Mouigni Daho said the arrival of the cyclone on the island was preceded by strong winds and floods.

There have been no reports of injuries.

Comoros Interior Minister Mohamed “Kiki” Daoudou urged citizens Wednesday to “stay calm and follow the instructions.”


After Comoros, Kenneth is expected to reach the far north of Mozambique late Thursday or early Friday, if it stays on its current course.

This comes a month after cyclone Idai ravaged the country and neighbouring Zimbabwe, claiming some 1 000 lives and causing about $2-billion in damage, according to the World Bank.

The Mozambique National Meteorology Institute (INAM) warned in a statement that the storm system was intensifying.

“The severe tropical storm has intensified in the past few hours into a Category Three tropical cyclone, and forecasts project that the cyclone could intensify to a Category Four on April 25,” it said.

Heavy rains and winds of up to 140 kilometres per hour would follow, it added.

Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) cautioned on Wednesday that 692 000 people could be affected.

The INGC said it would relocate rescue equipment, including boats and helicopters previously reserved in Sofala province for victims of Idai, to Cabo Delgado where Kenneth is expected.

“We have water, we have a generator, we are prepared. We’ve done everything we were told to,” said a hotel owner in the small town of Mucojo which is projected to be close to the eye of the cyclone.

‘Concerned’

“We’ve learned with Idai that it’s a good strategy to allocate the rescue means before the cyclone…” Augusto Maita, general director of INGC told AFP.

The province of Cabo Delgado, bordering Tanzania, is also dealing since 2017 with a wave of deadly violence attributed to a jihadist group that advocates the application of Islamic law.

Volunteers of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, who had assisted in cyclone Idai rescue efforts, said teams were already “on alert”.

“We are concerned about the impact that this storm could have across the three countries,” regional director for Africa for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFC), Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traore said.

“We are especially concerned about its possible impact in Mozambique where communities are still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Idai,” she said.

In Mozambique alone, Idai killed more than 600 people and affected 1.85 million, while over 340 died in Zimbabwe.

“Typically cyclones occur in the rainy season which is already over. This cyclone at the end of April is unusual,” Comoros environment ministry expert Youssouf Hamadi told AFP.

“It confirms the increasing intensity and frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean” — a phenomenon some blame on global warming.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

Third time lucky: Will Mozambique’s peace deal last?

It’s been a year since Frelimo and Renamo signed the Maputo Accord. This time, the peace might just hold

Mozambique needs an intervention – but SADC must not rush in blindly

Military intervention in Cabo Delgado must be aimed at protecting people first

The SADC will regret its approach to Mozambique’s insurgence

The SADC has been lackadaisical in its response to the insurgency in Mozambique and in so doing, is putting several other southern African countries at risk

Disaster preparedness can’t wait

But solutions can only be truly effective if funding and threat information reaches the local level

The pandemic has shifted patterns of conflict in Africa

Although the overall rate of conflict has remained steady in Africa during the past 10 weeks of the pandemic, the nature of this is changing in subtle but significant ways

Sex workers abandoned as Covid-19 crackdowns undo Africa’s HIV efforts

Controlling Covid-19 may worsen Africa’s HIV epidemic by stopping state and civil society health services built up over 35 years
Advertising

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday