Another cyclone devastates Mozambique

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

Red Cross teams in northern Mozambique have been reporting serious damage in towns and communities that bore the brunt of Cyclone Kenneth overnight.

It comes barely a month after Cyclone Idai destroyed large swathes of the country and killed at least one thousand people and displaced tens of thousands more.

Kenneth made landfall with wind speeds of up to 231 km per hour – almost the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane.

The Red Cross quoting reports from Quissanga suggests extensive damage to houses, while communication facilities between Macomia and Muidumbe have been down.

Antonio Carabante, Relief Delegate with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Nampula said: “These are initial reports, but they are quite concerning. We are being told that the wind caused quite a lot of damage. We are worried, especially about people living in communities that we have not yet heard from. We are working to open lines of communication, and to get personnel and supplies to where they are needed.”

The Red Cross said the situation may be compounded in coming days by expected torrential rains.

Some weather forecasts say Kenneth could drop as much as 250mm of water over the weekend – equivalent to about a quarter of average annual rainfall for the region.

IFRC’s Carabante said although attention is often on wind speed, rainfall and subsequent flooding and landslides can be even more dangerous from a humanitarian perspective.

“This was certainly the case for Cyclone Idai” Carabante said.

Meanwhile Red Cross workers and volunteers across southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique have been involved in relief activities in communities preparing for Cyclone Kenneth.

Their Red Crescent colleagues in the Comoros Island have already supported search and rescue efforts, providing urgent first aid.


React to this article