A cyclone has slammed northern Mozambique, killing five people and leaving many citizens without a home.
Cyclone Kenneth, the strongest storm on record to hit Mozambique – and the second cyclone to hit the country in little over a month – struck the northern coast, before moving inland toward the province of Cabo Delgado, ABC News reported.
The Guardian reported that Cyclone Kenneth hit Cabo Delgado with winds of 225 kilometres per hour.
This has fuelled fears that Cyclone Kenneth could burst the banks of the river Megaruma and leave settlements underwater. Mozambican officials have urged those living near the river to move to higher ground.
Officials have said almost all of the homes on the island of Ibo have been destroyed, while hotels and petrol stations were also damaged. The island is a popular Mozambican tourist destination in the Quirimbas Archipelago.
The Guardian reported that Kenneth was as strong as a category four hurricane. Meteorologists believe the cyclone was an “anomaly”.
The National Directorate of Water Resources Management said the Megaruma river had registered an increase in volume, which has caused flooding in areas in the districts of Mecufi and Chiure, south of the provincial capital of Pemba.
“Faced with this scenario, [the directorate] recommends the population living in areas referred to above withdraw immediately to high and safe areas,” The National Directorate said in a statement.
The World Food Programme has warned that Cyclone Kenneth could dump twice as much rain on northern Mozambique in the coming days.
Cyclone Kenneth came just six weeks after Idai, another cyclone that killed 1,000 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.