Cyclone Kenneth Update: UN gives $13 to Mozambique

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After cyclone Idai had claimed over a thousand lives in March, Mozambiqians are helpless again with Cyclone Kenneth. But United Nations goes to the rescue.

United Nations gives Mozambique $13 million for Cyclone Kenneth damage

(Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Toby Chopra), Thompson Reuters

MAPUTO, April 29 (Reuters) – The United Nations will grant Mozambique and the Comoros Islands $13 million in emergency funds to help provide food and water and repair damage to infrastructure, the organisation said late on Sunday, after the second cyclone in a month slammed into the region.

Cyclone Kenneth crashed into the northern province of the southern African nation on Thursday just as it was recovering from Cyclone Idai that hit further south last month.

Idai, the worst tropical storm to hit the region in decades, moved into neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi, killing more than 1,000 people.

Weather experts are warning that Kenneth could dump twice as much rain on northern Mozambique as Idai did. It has already killed five people as it unleashed heavy rains and flooding that has seen rivers burst their banks and smash whole villages.

Floods destroy homes, trap families in cyclone-hit Mozambique

Cyclone Kenneth hit the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado late on Thursday, flattening entire villages with winds of up to 280 kph (174 mph).

The World Bank estimates Mozambique and other countries affected by the tropical storm will need over $2 billion to recover.

Mozambique also faces a cholera epidemic after the cyclone wiped out water and sanitation facilities.

“This new allocation of Central Emergency Response Fund funds will help humanitarian partners to scale up the response to address the needs of those most vulnerable in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth”, said UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock in a statement.

Earlier in April The International Monetary Fund granted the southern African nation a $118.2 million credit facility.

Powerful cyclone…  northern Mozambique

by Kevin Corriveau, Al Jazeera and Agencies

Cyclone Kenneth has formed in the Indian Ocean and is strengthening while making its way towards northern Mozambique.

This would be the second storm system to make landfall for the country in just over a month. In March, powerful Cyclone Idai made two landfalls in Mozambique and was responsible for more than 1,000 deaths.

  • Cyclone Kenneth… Mozambique [Al Jazeera]

Cyclone Kenneth is not likely to cause anywhere near the amount of deaths or damage that Idai did, but it is expected to come onshore on Thursday afternoon with winds of 194 kilometres per hour gusting up to 240km/h, making its strength equivalent to a category three hurricane.

Before striking Mozambique, Kenneth will pass just to the north of the tiny island nation of Comoros on Wednesday evening. Heavy rain and an expected storm surge of two to three metres has already put the tiny islands on alert.

Landfall in northern Mozambique is expected near the city of Quiterajo in the Cabo Delgado province. Heavy rain with the storm is expected to bring accumulations of 350 to well over 600mm into the weekend.

Widespread flooding along the coast and inland is expected for the province with lower rainfall amounts just across the border into Tanzania.

Coastal storm surges from the point of landfall southwards could be up to three metres on top of normal tide levels.

Historically very few tropical storms and cyclones ever make landfall along this part of Mozambique’s coast. If Kenneth continues on its expected track and strength, it will be the strongest storm to hit this region in recorded history.

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