New Zimbabwe.com

First death as Cyclone Kenneth smashes into Mozambique

AFP


A powerful cyclone smashed into northern Mozambique, leaving one person dead on Friday, barely a month after a super-storm hit the centre of the country, devastating the area and leaving hundreds dead.

Category three Cyclone Kenneth, packing winds of 160 kilometres (100 miles) an hour, struck the north coast’s Cabo Delgado province late Thursday after swiping the Comoros islands.

The United Nations warned of flash flooding and landslides as Mozambique’s emergency agency the INGC reported one person was killed by a falling coconut tree in the port city of Pemba, Cabo Delgado’s provincial capital.

On the tourist island of Ibo, 90 percent of homes for the 6,000 population had been flattened, according to a spokesman for the agency, Antonio Beleza.

“I don’t expect to find my hotel undamaged,” said Swiss hotel owner Lucie Amr, who took refuge in Ibo’s fort alongside many local residents.

The winds had reduced to about 70 kilometres an hour on Friday, according to the local meteorological institute, but heavy rains are forecast over the next 24 hours, raising fears of flooding and mudslides in Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said over 600 millimetres (almost 24 inches) of rainfall was expected.

That would be nearly double the amount accumulated in 10 days of rainfall that caused flooding in Beira, which was devastated during Cyclone Idai.