Comoros: Tropical Cyclone Kenneth Emergency Plan of Action DREF n°: MDRKM007 / PKM010

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

During the night of Wednesday 24th to Thursday 25th April 2019, Tropical Cyclone Kenneth went at its closest to the Comoros archipelago, mainly affecting the island of Grand Comore (crossing the island) and causing subsequent flooding in Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan islands of Union of Comoros.

Indeed, since Sunday 21st April, the depression phenomenon n°14 was detected in the North of Madagascar with a South-west trajectory. It later gained strength and became a strong tropical storm on Wednesday, April 24th just before crossing the Comoros archipelago, with wind speed of over 130 km/hour and gusts of over 185 km/hour. Heavy rains had already been pouring on all three islands of Comoros since 20th April 2019, causing flooding.

To note, Comoros is a country prone to hydrological disasters which normally have severe impact on the country’s population and infrastructure. Based on experience of other cyclones (Hellen in 2014), it is estimated that at least 25,000 people have been affected by the cyclone in the at-risk areas across the Union of Comoros and according to UNOTAR nearly 170,000 people could be affected by winds greater than 120km/h, only in Grande Comoros. Joint rapid assessments are currently being setup by the government and partner agencies to ascertain the scale of the disaster.
It is feared that the main water pumping station in Vouvouni, which provides water for the capital city of Moroni, might be flooded and water distribution could be interrupted. Based on the experience of cyclone Hellen in 2014; it could take up to one month to restore and resume normal operations.