Cyclone Kenneth as intense as Cyclone Idai

Posted on 25 April 2019

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, tweeted that she fears ‘another humanitarian catastrophe is in the making as Cyclone Kenneth heads for Mozambique and Tanzania. It is at the same level of intensity as Cylcone Idai.’

Mozambique’s national airline LAM has suspended flights between the capital Maputo and Pemba because of Cyclone Kenneth, it said in a statement.

Both the Mozambiquan and Tanzanian governments have closed schools in the areas that Cyclone Kenneth is expected to affect. The UN has warned that the storm could cause flash floods and landslides in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province in the far north.

Expected to be in full force on Thursday evening, Accuweather has warned that ‘Kenneth will be the first tropical cyclone with the equivalent of hurricane strength to strike Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado since modern record-keeping.’

The weather forecast website explained that Kenneth has strengthened rapidly with a ‘strength equal to a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific oceans.’

‘The dangerous cyclone remains on track to slam into Cabo Delgado between Palma and Pemba on Thursday evening, local time. The coastal communities of Lucete, Pangane and Mucojo are at risk for a life-threatening direct hit.’

Daniel Timme, spokesman for UNICEF in Mozambique, said that the United Nations’ children’s agency and other aid groups were ‘pre-positioning emergency supplies’ in Cabo Delgado.

‘We are currently deploying specialists in disaster response in the fields of health and child protection and water and sanitation to the province,’ said Timme.

The storm made its way across the Comoros Islands yesterday and schools, airports and public offices were closed as the tropical islands were lashed by fierce storms that resulted in the deaths of three people.

Feature image: EUMETSAT

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