Southern Africa: Tropical Cyclone Kenneth Flash Update No. 5 (29 April 2019)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 29 Apr 2019

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on 25 April, becoming the second Cyclone to hit Mozambique in six weeks.

  • At least 38 people have died in Mozambique and at least 4 in the Comoros, following the landfall of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, according to government reports.

  • The Government of the Comoros has requested international assistance.

  • The Emergency Relief Coordinator has allocated US$10 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for Mozambique and $3 million for the Comoros.

  • Forecasts predict that up to 50mm of rainfall per day is expected over much of the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique from 29 April to 1 May, with more than 100mm expected in some localised areas.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, on 25 April, in an area where no tropical cyclone has been observed since the satellite era. There is no record of two storms of such intensity striking Mozambique in the same season, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

The official death toll from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth in northern Mozambique has risen to 38 people, according to the Government. Nearly 35,000 houses have either been partially destroyed (32,034) or totally destroyed (2,930), according to the Government. Social service infrastructure has also been hard-hit, with: at least 193 classrooms destroyed or damaged, affecting some 21,717 students; at least 14 health facilities impacted; and some 31,256 hectares of crops affected, according to the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC).

There were 20,720 displaced people sheltering in accommodation centres as of 29 April, including in Pemba (8,208), Quissanga (5,550) Metuge (3,600), Mocimboa da Praia (1,760), Palma (855), Muidumbe (335) and Macomia (422). The Government has identified some 7,554 vulnerable people, in addition to some 300 people who were reportedly rescued.

The IDPs were accommodated in 30 sites across Pemba (11), Mocimboa da Praia and Quissanga (4 sites each), Metuge, Palma and Muidumbe (3 each) and Macomia (2 sites).

More than 570 mm of rain has been recorded since 25 April in Pemba, the highest in Cabo Delgado. The area between Pemba (Mozambique) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) is expected to receive significant rainfall over the next four days, meaning that people already impacted by the cyclone face the prospect of being caught in torrential rains. Up to 50mm of rain per day is expected to fall in many areas, while some localities may receive more than 100mm per day. The flood peak for rivers in the region has not yet occurred and is generally expected to take place between 30 April and 2 May, according to analysis commissioned by DFID.

RESPONSE

On 28 April, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, released $US13 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to provide life-saving food, shelter, health, water and sanitation assistance to people affected by Tropical Cyclone Kenneth in Comoros ($3 million) and Mozambique ($10 million). The CERF funds will act as a catalyst by enabling humanitarian partners to scale up the response to address the needs of those most vulnerable in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth. However, more funding is urgently needed, and the Humanitarian Response Plan for Mozambique is just under 30 per cent funded.

On 28 April, 3,000 people affected by Cyclone Kenneth received maize, beans and salt in the first World Food Programme (WFP) food distribution in Macomia. In addition, 1,200 tarpaulins from COSACA, a consortium including Save the Children, Oxfam and CARE, were delivered 1, in Macomia District to families who have lost their homes. Also in Macomia, UNICEF is supporting communication with communities, using multimedia mobile units in the district to spread key messages in local languages, following damage to the community radio station. On 29 April, a flight by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) was able to deliver high energy biscuits (HEBs), food, and other non-food items from WFP, INGC and Oikos to Ibo island, off the coast of Cabo Delgado. However, a second flight due to bring medical supplies and WASH from UNICEF had to be cancelled due to incoming rains.

In response to Cyclone Kenneth, Telecomms Sans Frontiers has established connectivity through Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) equipment in support of the INGC and OCHA offices in Pemba. The Telecommunications Regulatory Institution (INCM) has officially requested the provision of Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) satellite internet connectivity services at four INGC coordination centres in: City of Pemba, Mocimboa da Prais, Palma and Muidumbe. The first batch of ICT equipment, including WiFi devices, VHF handsets from WFP stock in Beira, and an ETC satellite terminal was sent to Pemba by UNHAS helicopter on 28 April.

Two WFP helicopters arrived in Pemba on 29 April to support the scale-up of humanitarian operations in response to Cyclone Kenneth. However, with heavy rains forecast in the days ahead, response operations will continue to face significant logistical challenges to reaching people in need.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.