Southern Africa: Tropical Cyclone Kenneth Flash Update No. 3 (26 April 2019)
• Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has now “stalled” over Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique, where it is expected to bring heavy rains in the coming days.
• In Mozambique, one death has been reported and more than 18,000 people are sheltering in accommodation centres, according to preliminary Government figures.
• In the Comoros, three fatalities have been reported on Grande Comore Island, at least 20 people are injured and 1,000 displaced.
Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique on 25 April with 200km/h winds impacting several coastal areas, making it one of the strongest storms to ever hit Mozambique. After landfall, the cyclone is reported to have lost strength and evolved into a low-pressure system with winds around 80km/h. It has now reportedly “stalled” over Cabo Delgado where it is forecasted to remain for at least the next two days, with heavy rains falling over a localized area. The stalling of the weather system is likely to cause significant flooding in Cabo Delgado, as well as high rainfall in southern Tanzania, over the next 10 days.
In Mozambique, Quissanga, Macomia, and Ibo districts in Cabo Delgado have been hardest-hit, according to preliminary government reports. At least one death has been reported and 18,029 people have reportedly been displaced and are living in accommodation centres, according to the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC). At least 3,384 houses have been totally destroyed (450) or partially destroyed (2,934), while at least 31 classrooms and 3 health facilities have been damaged.
Cyclone Kenneth made landfall at the end of the rainy season, when river levels were already high. The Messalo, Montepuez and Megaruma rivers are on high alert for potential flooding, with more than 14,000 people in areas with at least a 50 percent chance of river flooding. Although predicted rainfall has reduced slightly since earlier forecasts, rainfall is still expected to be in excess of 500mm in the hardest-hit areas. Electricity was cut off at 1630hrs on 25 April in the districts of Meluco, Quissanga, Ibo, Macomia, Muidumbe, Mueda, Nangade, Mocimba da Praia and Palma. Electricity Mozambique (Electricidade de Moçambique - EDM) has sent out a team to repair the lines.
In the Comoros, three fatalities have been reported on Grande Comore Island, at least 20 people are injured and 1,000 displaced. Initial reports point to extensive damage across the islands, with several villages flooded, and roads cut-off in Grande Comore and Anjouan. Winds reportedly caused widespread power outages in the northern part of the main island, Grande Comore, and the capital Moroni, as well as on the island of Anjouan. In Moroni, homes and roads are reportedly damaged and destroyed, telephone poles and trees are down
The Comoros has activated its National Contingency Plan with the establishment of a fixed command post within the General Directorate of Civil Security (DGSC). Rapid assessments, led by the Government, are underway. Fire fighters have been deployed and Red Crescent volunteers are providing first aid and assessing needs on the ground. Gaining physical access to all affected areas is a challenge. The Union of the Comoros comprises three islands, and transportation between them has been impaired by the storm.
In Mozambique, an INGC team, led by the Director-General, is undertaking rapid assessments of affected areas, supported by humanitarian partners and has reached more than 2,500 families with immediate assistance. Humanitarian organizations have pre-positioned supplies and have additional teams on stand-by to deploy to the area.