Southern Africa: Tropical Cyclone Kenneth Flash Update No. 4 (28 April 2019)
At least nine people have died – five in Mozambique and four in the Comoros - and more have been injured, following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth.
In Mozambique, Ibo, Macomia and Quissanga districts were hardest-hit by the cyclone’s path.
Heavy rains that began overnight from 27 to 28 April led to flash and riverine floods in Pemba and surrounding areas in Mozambique, including Mieze.
In the Comoros, the electricity grid has been damaged, leaving the majority of the island nations’ inhabitants without power.
Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, which impacted the Comoros on 24 April and made landfall on 25 April, has caused death and destruction in both countries. In the Comoros, four fatalities have been reported on Grande Comore Island, some 182 people were injured, and 41,161 people were affected of which 14,541 are displaced, according to government figures. In Mozambique, at least 5 people were killed and 11 injured. At least 23,760 people were sheltering in 39 accommodation centres across 8 districts, as of 27 April 2019.
Entire villages within the storm’s path were impacted. In the Comoros, more than 10,800 houses were destroyed, including 3,818 completely destroyed and 7,013 houses partially destroyed. The cyclone also caused significant crop loss, with an estimated 63 per cent of food crops, 35 per cent of cash crops and 34 per cent of fruit trees destroyed. There was also significant loss of livestock, with at least 628 cattle, 222 sheep and 770 goats killed. Schools and many water tanks were reportedly damaged. The electricity grid is destroyed throughout the country, leaving the majority of people without power and impacting access to health care. On Grande Comore, displaced people have reportedly moved in with host families.
In Mozambique, more than 35,100 houses had been recorded as totally destroyed (3,805) or partially destroyed (31,305), according to the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC). Ibo, Macomia and Quissanga districts in Cabo Delgado were particularly hard-hit, according to a rapid aerial assessment. Islands in Ibo district suffered extensive damages, with nearly all homes on Matemo island destroyed. On the mainland, Mucojo town in Macomia district, sustained significant damage. Electricity on Ibo island was cut off and phone communications severed for most of the island’s inhabitants. Five health facilities have so far been recorded as damaged and the maternity ward in the Macomia Hospital sustained significant damages. At least 75 classrooms have been destroyed or damaged, impacting 3,909 students, according to INGC. Cyclone Kenneth hit Cabo Delgado during the main harvest season. This area of Mozambique does not have a second annual crop and the next harvest will only be in April 2020.
Since making landfall, the Tropical Cyclone Kenneth weather system has “stalled” over Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique. On the evening of 27 to 28 April, torrential rains began to fall in and around Pemba, causing flash and riverine flooding on 28 April, including in the nearby area of Mieze.