Cyclone IDAI and Cyclone Kenneth -> Mozambique
More than 4,000 cholera cases and seven deaths from the illness reported in Mozambique.
Death toll from devastating Cyclone Idai rises above 1,000
April 11, 2019 - 8 hours ago
The death toll from a storm that crashed into southeast Africa last month has risen above 1,000, with more than 4,000 cases of cholera reported among survivors in Mozambique, the hardest-hit country. … The cyclone made landfall the night of March 14 near the Mozambican port city of Beira, bringing heavy winds and rains, before moving inland to neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi. Zimbabwe on Wednesday updated the number of dead to 344, while Mozambique has reported 602 deaths. In Malawi, 59 people died in heavy rains before the onset of Idai. The final death toll may never be confirmed. Zimbabwe's efforts were "confined to the recovery of the deceased" and the government will send pathologists to Mozambique to assist with identifying the dead, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said on Wednesday. … The UN is seeking $282m to fund emergency assistance over the next three months. …
Since a cholera outbreak was declared on March 27 in Mozambique, the government has recorded 4,072 cases of the disease and seven deaths. The majority of the cases have been reported in Beira, which was badly hit by the storm and subsequent flooding. Running water has recently been restored, reaching around 60 percent of a population of around 500,000. … More than 745,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine have been distributed since the vaccination campaign launched last week, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. Malaria is another concern as floodwaters recede, with more than 7,500 cases reported, according to the government.
Quest to find Mozambique cyclone victims takes toll
Cara Anna, Associated Press
Published 10:30 p.m. ET April 9, 2019 | Updated 10:31 p.m. ET April 9, 2019
Magaru, Mozambique — He was haunted by the thought of a small child’s skull, unburied and lost in the debris of a cyclone that had claimed hundreds of lives. Stephen Fonseca stood in a field of ruined maize where a tiny spine had been found, and he wanted to find the rest of the body. But in every direction were scattered kernels and stalks bleached by the sun. At a glance, much of the landscape looked like bones.
The stark scene brought home the overwhelming challenge faced by Fonseca, the only body recovery specialist to search the rural Mozambique region struck by Cyclone Idai, since he waded into the devastation nearly a month ago. If a final death toll ever emerges – it is now more than 600 in Mozambique alone – it will be strongly informed by Fonseca’s work in the field, and the quest to name the missing and the dead. The storm tore apart frightened families and swept whole villages away, with floodwaters as high as treetops rushing toward the sea. Parents lost their grip on children. Exhausted people clinging to branches for days fell into the waters and drowned. For days on end, Fonseca followed the accounts of villagers who spoke of seeing the dead floating by.
As the waters began to recede, he walked for miles through mud so thick it sucked boots off feet. Crocodiles, hippos and snakes posed threats but hungry dogs and pigs were a bigger concern. Fonseca needed to find the bodies before they did, and bury them well. His search was guided by smell, and animal tracks, and flies. It was uncomfortable but necessary work, as bare bones are far more difficult to find, and time was running out. “Some people think it gets easier. I think it gets harder,” Stephen Fonseca said of his work. “Now I’m a parent. I start to relate to some degree how absolutely devastating it is to lose a child. But I will never say I fully understand what they are going through.” “Some people think it gets easier. I think it gets harder,” Stephen Fonseca said of his work. “Now I’m a parent. I start to relate to some degree how absolutely devastating it is to lose a child. But I will never say I fully understand what they are going through.” “This is our one good opportunity to get as much as possible,” said Fonseca, the South Africa-based forensic coordinator for Africa with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
As he pushed through the rural farmland he met local people who were just as concerned about the dignity of the dead. Desperate for news of their missing family members, some communities sent out search teams. Bodies that were found were given a quick but respectful burial, even when they were strangers. Some of the dead wore the uniforms of neighboring Zimbabwe’s security forces, having been swept down mountainsides some 60 miles away by the raging waters. Burials were difficult work. Shovels, like homes, had been lost. Some people dug with their bare hands, then watched the holes fill with water from the still-sodden ground.
“They take the time because one day our time will come as well,” Fonseca said. He found the community burials comforting, with people even pausing from handing out badly needed humanitarian aid to take turns digging. And yet he knew the burials almost certainly went unreported to authorities, meaning they would not be counted in the official death toll and families might never know their loved ones’ fates. Shallow graves were precarious, too, vulnerable to animals and further floods, the possible scattering of bones. “You bury who you can but not always well,” said Ibrahim Ismail, a local farm manager. “So he’s helping.”
Fonseca offered to do exhumations and reburials but only with permission. One family that had tracked down and buried two relatives near a termite mound, a natural marker, decided to let them be. In their culture a person should not be dug up and moved, they said. “I appreciate what he’s doing. It’s life-saving for some of us,” said Manuel Joaquim Makanije, a community member who nevertheless understood the family’s decision. Relatives long for closure, but the bodies could be anywhere.
Fonseca came across the corpse of a young girl tangled high in a tree. A local man scrambled up the trunk and slowly lowered her to the ground, while children watched. On another long hike Fonseca saw a boatman ferry a woman to a body found on an island. The face was missing, but the woman wept, certain it was her missing relative. With forensic methods such as DNA tests, fingerprinting and dental records almost impossible in rural Mozambique, Fonseca respects what he called “cultural identification.” Clothing, location and other signs were considered in the interest of grieving relatives’ peace of mind.
Without a mandate from Mozambique’s government to issue death certificates or compile official figures, Fonseca instead gave community leaders guidance on handling the dead. He distributed wooden grave markers, body tags, gloves. It reflected his wider work in Africa helping to strengthen forensics awareness on a continent where people increasingly seek accountability, and answers, over the dead. Fonseca’s time in Mozambique was ending and he would soon head home to South Africa. The work, in very challenging conditions, takes a toll, colleague Neil Morris said. “Stephen knew when he needed to return.”
In one last try, Fonseca gravitated back to the maize field where nine members of a single family had died. Soon farmers would burn the fields to plant a short-term crop to help avoid months of hunger, as the cyclone had struck just before the annual harvest. The fires would further complicate identifying the dead. As people picked their way through the field salvaging maize kernels, resuming their lives, Fonseca resumed his search for what he knew were now bare bones. The farmers shouldn’t have to discover them, he said. “They’ve been through enough trauma.” He searched slowly. It took hours. “There’s a little cranium somewhere here,” he said, half to himself, thinking of the child. “Someone’s going to find it.”
Finally he stopped and tied a blue latex glove to a stalk of maize, as a marker. He had found a small shin bone. The bone likely belonged to the same child whose spine had been found not far away. In the end, the bones would be buried together. There were no child-sized body bags. Fonseca improvised one using duct tape. “Some people think it gets easier. I think it gets harder,” he said of his work. “Now I’m a parent. I start to relate to some degree how absolutely devastating it is to lose a child. But I will never say I fully understand what they are going through.” He and a local chief, Moises Mukoto, went to the burial site. Fonseca, sweating in the hot sun, dug open a small grave as the chief wrote the time of day in a notebook, and waited. The bag with the shin bone was gently laid in the hole alongside the tiny spine, which had been buried there earlier. Then the chief quickly hoed the earth back in place. “Even one bone is important,” Fonseca said. “It represents someone special.” The wooden grave marker, written in permanent ink, said: “Don’t touch. The body of a child.”
It will take months, even years, to discover the cyclone’s dead, Fonseca said. Not everyone will be found.
A further cyclone and serious flood event could develop in about 6 days in the northern Mozambique-Tanzania border region. A weak cyclone appears to form and stall just inland producing falls in the 250 mm to 1,500 mm range.
The prior two model runs:
The current model run:
The system dumps its wind and rain overland from late Thursday, stalls briefly then keeps moving inland.
12 hourly location positions
The storm takes around 3 days to clear the area after landfall.
A very wet symmetric Cat-4 at landfall with predicted rainfall areas >2,200 mm, and 3 hr rates of 190mm, during and after landfall. Each of the past 4 model runs has shown a worsening forecast, the system now forms and gets organized much further out with the current ecmwf run.
Apologies for the following garish looking images, I'm working on precipitation overlays with much higher than normal value ranges, when along comes a storm forecast with much higher than normal rainfall projections.
12 hourly location positions
Animation URL: https://i.windy.com/a/ddpy/559eed.gif
Cabo Delgado, Province of Mozambique
• Total 2,333,278
• Density 28/km2 (73/sq mi)
The as yet to be named cyclone (which will be Tropical Cyclone "Kenneth") and its remnant that's forecast to hit the northern Mozambique-Tanzania border area from Friday, will remain slow-moving over northern Mozambique for about 2.5 days of heavy rain.
Although the forecast wind strength is not as high as prior the rainfall forecast continues to worsen. The decaying remnant remains slow-moving overland in northern Mozambique for about 3.5 days creating a large area of very high rainfalls. This will produce major flooding.
This event will begin about 6 PM local Mozambique time on Thursday, April 25th, 2019).
8 fps Clouds Overlay
You can use or share this image on this URL: https://i.windy.com/a/ddpy/55a57x.gif
There are over 2 million people in the affected area.
5 fps Rain-Thunder Overlay
UPDATE: Summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Mozambique starts moving Cyclone Idai survivors closer to home
23 April 2019
In Mozambique, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the national government and other partners have begun the work of relocating families displaced by Cyclone Idai back to areas closer to their places of origin. On Saturday 200 families were moved out of emergency shelters in the central town of Beira. It’s hoped that over the next 10 days some 70,000 further people will be moved out of the temporary sites they have been living in for the past month. These sites include schools, communal halls, libraries and other buildings.
Cyclone Idai hit the southern African nations of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe in mid-March. Hardest hit was Mozambique where the cyclone killed some 600 people with more than 1,600 injured, according to official estimates.
Nearly 240,000 houses have also been damaged and over 111,000 destroyed.
Families moved at the weekend came from the district of Buzi, the epicenter of devastation in Mozambique. There Cyclone Idai brought complete destruction. As a first step, they were moved to a transit centre in Guara Guara, some 55 kilometres from their areas of origin in Buzi.
Guara Guara is on higher land and is more suitable for families to restart a life closer to home until they are able to recover old houses that have been completely destroyed. On arrival, the families were assigned emergency tents provided by UNHCR and by INGC (the Government of Mozambique’s agency for managing natural disasters).
The settlement is equipped with potable water and latrines, and the national government – with the support of the UN World Food Programme – is providing food. MSF is operating a health centre on the ground.
The families will stay in Guara Guara for up to three days and will receive a plot of land (20 x 30 meters, totaling 600 square meters), a kit of materials to clean the land and build their new houses, and seeds to start farming.
UNHCR is positioning its available stocks of relief items – including mosquito nets, solar lamps, sleeping mats, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans and buckets – to be distributed to those families. Priority is given to the elderly, disabled persons, single women and unaccompanied children.
We are working with other humanitarian partners to ensure adherence to internationally accepted relocation standards, including the voluntary nature of the moves.
With an estimated 1.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Mozambique, aid organizations are facing immense challenges due to extensive damages to infrastructure and low funding. So far humanitarian agencies have been able to reach only 30 per cent of the target population.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
In Maputo, Luiz Fernando Godinho, [email protected], +258874230001
In Pretoria, Markku Aikomus, [email protected], +2781 797 7456
In Geneva, Babar Baloch, [email protected], +41 79 513 9549
From the current news summaries today it seems almost no one within Mozambique is currently aware that another cyclone and major flood are just about to hit the northern coastal area and hinterland. It seems as though there are not even warnings being given to the local population. The problem here is the 'cyclone' is going to form in close and deepen rapidly and impact the coast within two days. How can you warn people about a powerful cyclone that doesn't exist yet? They're not going to take the developing situation seriously until too late to do much.
Latest visible satellite image - 993 hPa and 40 kts.
Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has formed.
@ 65kts and 976 hPa
12 hour forecast location positions
The remnant stays overland in north-eastern Mozambique for about 4 days.
The forecast has not improved, cyclone Kenneth is going to spend around 4 days over a fairly small part of NE Mozambique (where about 2.5 million people will be directly affected by major flooding).
12 hr location positions
Latest satellite images indicate a Dvorak analysis of 70 kts and 985 hPa.
The latest vapor imagery is confirming that this will be a very wet storm.
Should be able to get a better view of this storm in about 6 hours just before the sun goes down. The forecast indicates it will grow rapidly to Cat-4 from now, before weakening to about Cat-3 prior to landfall. It's a bit asymmetric with most of the rain on its northern side. At present the ECMWF model appears to be over-estimating its wind category.
There's only about 24 to 30 hrs until cyclonic wind and rain conditions arrive at the coast
Cyclone-ravaged Mozambique threatened by new tropical storm
24 April 2019 - 08:15
A tropical system off Mozambique threatens to unleash a cyclone on the northern Cabo Delgado province just weeks after the country's central parts were ravaged by a powerful storm, meteorologists warned Tuesday.
The poor southern African country is still reeling from the impact of deadly cyclone Idai -- the most powerful storm to hit the region in recent decades -- which left about 1,000 dead in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The storm is forecast to make landfall late this week in Cabo Delgado province, reeling from violence at the hands of Islamists who have been terrorising villagers in remote communities for the past 18 months.
"The (weather) system we are talking about was a low pressure and today evolved into tropical depression," Aniceto Tembe, spokesman for the Mozambique Meteorology Institute told AFP in the capital Maputo.
The depression was north of Madagascar island Tuesday, approaching the Mozambique Channel where warm conditions are conducive for it to grow into a cyclone.
"We are projecting that a severe tropical cyclone may arrive and if the conditions allow it can even reach Category 3 tropical cyclone" strength - with winds of between 140 and 160 kilometres (87 to 99 miles) per hour, he added.
"The projections indicate that the system will approach the coast of Mozambique... mainly the northern part of Cabo Delgado and the southern part of Tanzania," Tembe told AFP.
In a statement Monday, the public works ministry issued a warning of strong winds and heavy rains that could cause flooding and destruction of property in the province of Cabo Delgado and its southern neighbouring province of Nampula.
It said 80,000 people were at risk.
The centre for disaster management issued a warning Tuesday of a tropical storm with wind speeds of between 80 and 120 kilometres per hour, expected to make landfall Friday in the gas-rich district of Palma, the nerve centre of Mozambique's nascent gas industry.
Hardline Islamists have launched several deadly attacks in the Muslim-majority, oil and gas-rich Cabo Delgado province in the past year, killing about 200 people, beheading some of them, and forcing thousands from their homes.
Last month Cyclone Idai cut a path of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on the night of March 14-15, causing damage worth about $2 billion, according to the World Bank. In Mozambique alone, more than 600 people died among the 1.85 million affected, while over 340 died in Zimbabwe.
This is the first news article/warning that I've seen so far about cyclone Kenneth's approach. It'll make landfall within about 30 hrs (probably as a major cyclone) and almost no one there seems to realize what's about to hit them.
You said that « the ECMWF model appears to be over-estimating its wind category ». But do you compare ECMWF gusts forecast with sustained winds /1min?
RMSC La Réunion forecast 70 to 80kt /10min. which is in line with the max 70kt Wind predicted by ECMWF.
By which I mean the category indicated within the second image down in this earlier link.
It shows Kenneth as already a Cat-3 range (according to ecmwf) while a Dvorak (observation) analysis indicates 65 to 70 kt winds or low to mid-level Cat-1 at that time, and currently.
Your second image is based on Wind accumulation, and Wind accumulation shows the maximum gusts forecast on the map during the week. So that’s gusts, while Dvorak analysis gives sustained winds /1 min. forecast...if I’m right.
Yes, but it's not referring to some other Cat-3 cyclone later this week. The passage just occurred (over a few hours, not over a week) and ECMWF has put the max gust range inside the Cat-3 range, but from a low-end Cat-1 storm. That's presuming the Dvorak wind number is reasonably accurate, and frankly the clouds are not particularly well defined within those early images, with lots of cirrus smudging out detail needed to do the classification. So the (early) ECMWF cyclonic-range gust forecast looks rather optimistic to me.
But looking at the early satellite images (visually and subjectively that is) it's clearly just a fairly disorganized Cat-1 trying to get established, and not a system with Cat-3 level gusts (yet).
Cyclone Kenneth, 981 hPa and 75 knot winds. It's beginning to get its act together with a well-established outflow developing during the past few hours.
It's clearly beginning to flare up convection within this last IR image. According the the forecast it should build a core very rapidly soon after it passes by the Island to its immediate WSW. Clearly edging towards Cat-2, and an outer rain band is already impacting the coastline
The cyclone has just developed deep-convection around a defined eye on IR within the past hour as it begins to pass-by the island to the SW.
22 hours to eye landfall
3 hourly track
The coastal impact area appears to have a fairly sparse population of small towns.
Very rapid development of deep convection during the past hour is transforming cyclone Kenneth into a much larger system. It's also developed a much larger eye with more distinct core banding.
This much uplift indicates rapid intensification. It should become a Cat-3 within hours.
Cyclone Kenneth is currently category-3.
The Dvorak classification a few hours ago was 100kts @ 948 hPa. It is expected to reach about 110kt winds with 135 kt gusts, before weakening some as it approaches land.. The core will come ashore as a major cyclone but the predicted track is slipping further south down the coast towards some more populated areas. It's a very wet system (as shown via the vapor sat image) and a major flood is going to occur within north eastern Mozambique. Note also that the Dvorak wind speed and pressure analysis is currently giving a central-pressure that's about 20 hPa lower than the ECMWF model predicted.
Vapor image confirms Kenneth will be a very wet cyclone
3 hr locations for the first 24 hours, then 12 hr position locations thereafter. The rain-laden storm remnant spends around 4 days over Mozambique before clearing northwards, delivering a double-hit of rainfall as it loops around and picks up more in-flowing moisture from the ocean.
There's an unusual amount of heavy thunderstorm activity predicted to be associated with this cyclone's landfall, especially around its periphery. These sustained lines of thunderstorms are going to quickly drive up local rainfall totals and produce flash flooding as the storm moves overland. Very wet cyclones tend to deliver stronger gusts, as the faster winds from higher above are dragged to the ground by heavy rainfall inducing strong down-drafts of air. The heavier the rainfall the stronger and more turbulent the gusts tend to be. Thus an otherwise rain-laden Cat-3 can contain Cat-4 level gusts within it.
This will be another serious event which takes days to unfold and for communications and recon to be established. Road and rail infrastructure will again be demolished by the widespread hinterland flooding.
The heaviest rainfalls should occur over a broad strip that's about 100 nm wide (west to east), and about 350 nm long (south to north).
The eye will be fully on land within 24 hours.
12 hours until destructive core begins to impact land.
Cyclone Kenneth has just reached Category-4
Recent Dvorak classification shows 115kt (213 km/h) winds with a central pressure of 937 hPa (~135 kt gusts).
The pressure has fallen to 30 hPa below what ECMWF had predicted. Even on the IR it's showing strong regional cirrus outflows indicating Kenneth is still undergoing an explosive intensification period.
The radial cirrus outflow from immediately around the central-dense-overcast core area is more pronounced again within this latest water vapor image. This is indicating the core of Cyclone Kenneth continues to rapidly intensify toward a mid-level Cat-4 (125 kt winds and 150 kt gusts - stronger than Cyclone IDAI at its' landfall).
This rapid intensification of convective uplift has been occurring for about 12 hours, during which time the Dvorak pressure plunged from about 985 hPa down to 937 hPa, or a 48 hPa drop in 12 hours.
This newest IR image also shows that the peripheral radial cirrus outflow has just intensified further indicating that more air is now flowing out of the top of the core region due to the still intensifying convection uplift that's rapidly dropping the central pressure further. Visually it now looks much more like Cyclone IDAI did just before it made landfall, except the pressure is now even lower, and the eye is smaller and becoming more intense. Plus Kenneth is strengthening quickly while IDAI was slowly weakening down to Cat-3 during its landfall.
This cyclone is exceeding the ecmwf forecast.
People in the projected path should expect cyclone Kenneth to come ashore with similar wind and rainfall intensities as Cyclone IDAI, and for its effects to last about as long.