Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

Cyclone Kenneth: Government issues flood warning as death toll rises

Cyclone KennethFive people have already died as a result of cyclone Kenneth and the government of Mozambique have now issued flood warnings.

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The government of Mozambique has confirmed five deaths as a direct result of the impact of cyclone Kenneth on the country.

Officials urged residents in the north of the country, especially those living near the two main rivers in the region, to seek out higher ground.

The Cyclone flattened homes on Mozambique’s north coast killing five in a region already devastated by Cyclone Idai.

The National Directorate of Water Resources Management in Mozambique has reported that the Megaruma river has experienced a marked increase in volume. Some flooding has already been recorded in river-side and low-lying areas in the districts of Mecufi and Chiure, south of the provincial capital of Pemba.

To the north of Pemba the Messalo river was also expected to cause flooding in the districts of Muidumbe and Macomia.

“Faced with this scenario, [the directorate] recommends the population living in areas referred to above withdraw immediately to high and safe areas,” government officials said.

The United Nations has warned that Kenneth could dump twice as much rain on Northern Mozambique as Idai which is a recipe for disaster in a region prone to flooding and mudslides.

Idai killed over 1,000 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi and unleashed a cholera epidemic on the city of Beira and surrounds and the country is ill-prepared for another natural disaster.

“The soil is saturated with rain and the rivers are already swollen, so the emergency is likely to get worse from flooding in the next few days,” UNICEF deputy representative in Mozambique, Michel Le Pechoux.

30,000 people had been moved to safety before the storm struck, however it was estimated a total of almost 700,000 are still at risk.

The tourist island of Ibo has reportedly been flattened with no man-made structures left standing by the wrath of cyclone Kenneth.

There is concern that remote areas like Mocimboa de Praia will not be able to communicate the need for help in an emergency.

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