Mozambique braces for Cyclone Kenneth

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A powerful cyclone was set to make landfall in northern Mozambique Thursday, barely a month after a super-storm slammed into the country’s centre, leaving hundreds dead and causing devastation.

As Cyclone Kenneth barrelled towards to the northeastern coast after swiping the Comoros, the UN warned of flash flooding and landslides. Dozens of schools were closed and all flights between the capital Maputo and Pemba were cancelled.

Forecasters at Meteo-France warned that Kenneth could trigger waves off Mozambique’s northeastern shore as much as five metres (16 feet) higher than usual.

The Red Cross warned it was “especially concerned” about the storm’s impact, as many communities in Mozambique are still recovering from a cyclone that hit on the night of March 14-15.

The most powerful storm to strike the region in decades, Cyclone Idai cut a path of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It left more than a thousand dead and causing damage estimated at around $2 billion (1.8 billion euros).

Kenneth passed by the Indian Ocean archipelago nation Comoros on Thursday, battering it with high winds and heavy rains, the country’s Meteorological Office wrote on Facebook.

“We must stay alert, avoid touching fallen power cables, wait for permission before driving and keep children at home,” it said.

An AFP team in the Comoran capital Moroni saw shacks destroyed by the rain and wind, and high seas as a result of the cyclone.

“I have three children, one is small, just one month and 10 days (old). We were here until 11 p.m. last night when things deteriorated,” local resident Abdillah Alaoui told AFP.

It was our neighbours who evacuated us.”