Death toll rises to 8 after Cyclone Kenneth strikes Mozambique

MAPUTO, The death toll from Cyclone Kenneth, which has wreaked havoc in northern Mozambique and the Comoros islands, has risen to eight, thousands feared trapped after Cyclone Kenneth disaster management officials said on Saturday.

Five people were killed in Mozambique, while three died in the Comoros islands, according to the Mozambican government and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The storm also injured two people, the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) said.

International aid organization Care Saturday reported devastating destruction in many communities in Mozambique’s north.

Around 700,000 people have been affected by the cyclone in the province of Cabo Delgado, according to initial estimates, said Care.

This morning we were in Maconia and everything is destroyed as far as the eye can see. I’ve been working in disaster relief for three decades. But I have not seen anything like it, said the head of Care’s task force, Daw Mohamed.

The cyclone put 368,000 children in Mozambique at risk and potentially in need of lifesaving humanitarian support, said United Nations children’s fund (Unicef) said in a statement.

Many children and families were now living in a very precarious position, said Unicef Mozambique deputy representative Michel Le Pechoux.

Some 450 houses were destroyed, while almost 3,000 houses and 50 electric towers were heavily damaged, according to the INGC.

Up to nine districts in northern Mozambique lost power completely, according to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

The forecast is a long period of heavy rains. We are worried about flash flooding and landslides in the short term, and water-borne disease if there is extensive flooding in the long term, said IFRC spokesman Matthew Carter.

However, the storm had weakened into a depression since hitting Mozambique, the WMO said.

It seems that things are getting back to normal. It’s not raining now, it’s cloudy however. In our neighbourhood, some infrastructure was destroyed but nothing close to what we feared, Valdemar Lucas, a resident of the northern town of Pemba, told dpa via telephone.

Cyclone Kenneth first hit the Comoros islands earlier this week, and on Thursday night barrelled into northern Mozambique, hitting the southern African nation’s Cabo Delgado province with winds of about 120 kilometres an hour.

According to United Nations agencies, some 112,000 people are at high risk of being affected by Kenneth, while the government of Mozambique evacuated about 30,000 people to safer ground.

President Filipe Nyusi has appealed for calm in a televised address to the nation, saying: The Mozambican people know how to respond to disasters like this.

We are in talks with the United Nations and our own defence and security forces are ready to respond to the disaster, Nyusi added.

The WMO said there was no record of two storms of such intensity striking Mozambique in the same season, referencing Cyclone Idai, which last month killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Source: NAM News Network