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10 things to know about the cyclone battering Mozambique

by Nita Bhalla | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 29 April 2019 16:09 GMT

It is the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season. Here are some facts about the disaster

By Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI, April 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rescuers in northern Mozambique struggled on Monday to reach people stranded by flooding after a second cyclone in just over a month pounded the impoverished southern African nation, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake.

It is the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season, the United Nations said.

Here are some facts about the disaster:

1. With wind speeds of up to 280 kph (174 mph) Cyclone Kenneth crashed into the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado late on Thursday - just as the country was recovering from Cyclone Idai, which hit further south on March 14.

2. The number of people killed after Kenneth slammed into Mozambique jumped from five to 38 on Monday. More than 160,000 people have been affected, with almost 30,000 homes destroyed.

3. Four people were also killed and around 1,000 people have been displaced from their homes in the Comoros Islands, where Cyclone Kenneth passed before hitting Mozambique.

4. Initial reports suggest extensive damage in Cabo Delgado province, where winds ripped apart homes, schools and health clinics and heavy rains submerged vast swathes of farmland in Quissanga, Macomia and Muidumbe districts.

5. Power and telecommunications have been disrupted in many areas such as the island of Ibo. Communication remains challenging in many coastal areas and access by boat to islands is difficult. Schools and health centres have also sustained damage.

6. The heavy rains have grounded aid flights, caused rivers to burst their banks and triggered landslides that have washed away or blocked roads, leaving communities in remote areas with few supplies.

7. Aid workers fear the flash floods have left thousands of families taking shelter under the wreckage of their homes, without access to desperately needed emergency supplies such as food, shelter and clean drinking water.

8. The United Nations said it will give Mozambique and the Comoros Islands $13 million in emergency funds to help provide food and water and repair damage to infrastructure.

9. Over the next 24 hours, heavy rainfall, strong winds and thunderstorms are forecast over central-northern Mozambique. Moderate rain is forecast over the Comoros.

10. Some predictions suggest Kenneth could drop as much as 250mm (9.8 inches) of water – equivalent to about a quarter of average annual rainfall for the region.

Sources: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations; Save The Children; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; World Food Programme.

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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