Cyclone IDAI and Cyclone Kenneth -> Mozambique
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.
Category-4 Cyclone Kenneth
Sunrise will occur soon so there should be some impressive low-angle visual images during the next few hours. Heavy outer storm bands are currently affecting the coast and moving inland around 60 km.
This IR image (taken 23 minutes later) is beginning to show signs that the rapid intensification phase may be topping-out and coming to an end.
The eye will be onshore in about 14 hours.
The outer core of Kenneth is about 6 hours from the coast at present.
Kenneth's Cat-4 outer core is beginning to impact the coast
It appears to be maintaining low-end Cat-4 strength but apparently not intensifying further.
It continues to move generally West and has not yet begun to turn more WSW.
First visible dawn images
The worst of the wind and waves should mostly occur during daylight hours.
Cyclone Kenneth's convection and outflow features appear to be going off the boil compared to about three hours ago.
Excerpt of warning details
Bulletin du 25 avril à 10H19 locales Réunion:
CYCLONE TROPICAL INTENSE KENNETH.
Vents maximaux (moyennés sur 10 minutes) estimés sur mer: 215 km/h.
Rafales maximales estimées sur mer: 305 km/h.
Pression estimée au centre: 934 hPa.
Déplacement: OUEST-SUD-OUEST, à 15 km/h.
Thus a low-end Cat-4 with a 934 hPa central pressure
Dvorak analysis now says CYCLONE KENNETH has 125 kt winds and 937hPa pressure. Reunion’s current warning estimates the central pressure is at 934 hPa.
Latest visible wavelength image:
The outflow features are still looking impressive within these latest comparison-pair images which were taken 30 mins apart. Although the cloud tops are mostly about 10 degrees warmer than they were 4 to 6 hours ago. The eye has been becoming more defined during the past few hours.
Overall it's not weakening (as yet) and appears to be slowly strengthening.
Cyclone Kenneth gains strength, threatening Tanzania and Mozambique
Africa / 25 April 2019, 08:52am
Tavares Cebola and Peter Nyanje
Augusta Maita, director of Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), told a media briefing that evacuation orders were in force in the country's northern Cabo Delgado Province, just across the border from Tanzania. File photo: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)
Maputo/Dar es Salaam - A strengthening tropical cyclone north-west of Madagascar is headed for the coasts of Mozambique and Tanzania, weather authorities and the UN warned on Wednesday. The Tanzanian Meteorological Agency (TMA) said that Cyclone Kenneth would make landfall overnight packing winds of about 80 kilometres per hour [maybe in Tanzania, but more like 230 km/h winds with higher gusts to the south], which were "capable of causing extensive damage." Tanzania's southern regions of Mtwara and Lindi, near the border with Mozambique, were likely to be most affected by the cyclone after it makes landfall, the agency said.
People living up to 500 kilometres from the coast should take precautions, the TMA said. Authorities in Mtwara told dpa that all schools have been ordered to stay closed on Thursday, and that public servants were asked to stay home and prepare for cyclone-related developments.
Earlier in Mozambique, Augusta Maita, director of the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), told a media briefing that evacuation orders were in force in the country's northern Cabo Delgado Province, just across the border from Tanzania. The government had declared an alert and that "all measures will be implemented to save lives," she said. "We will make sure that people are evacuated today, even if it means forced evacuation," she said.
Evacuation helicopters and boats being used in Beira further south - as part of relief efforts after a previous cyclone hit in March - will be relocated to Cabo Delgado, she said.
Malawi could also experience increased rainfall when Kenneth hits.
The cyclone is expected to impact the Comoros islands on Wednesday and make landfall on the African mainland on Thursday, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. More than 700,000 people - mainly in Cabo Delgado - are living in the cyclone's path, OCHA said.
In March, Cyclone Idai caused massive flooding, killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands in Mozambique.
Aid agencies warned of the cumulative impact the two storms could have. "We are especially concerned about [Cyclone Kenneth's] possible impact in Mozambique where communities are still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Idai," said Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, regional director for Africa for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Mozambique braces for cyclone Kenneth
Published: 17:03 AEST, 25 April 2019 | Updated: 17:03 AEST, 25 April 2019
Mozambique was bracing for a powerful cyclone to make landfall on Thursday, just one month after another cyclone devastated the country and neighbouring Zimbabwe leaving more than 1,000 dead. The UN warned that the latest storm could trigger flash flooding and landslides in Mozambique's far north and the government closed dozens of schools likely to be in the storm's path.
National airline LAM has suspended flights between the capital Maputo and Pemba on the northeast coast because of Cyclone Kenneth, it said in a statement. The Red Cross warned it was "especially concerned about its possible impact in Mozambique where communities are still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Idai". Idai was the most powerful storm to hit the region in decades and cut a path of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe on the night of March 14-15, causing damage of around $2 billion.
Comoros and Tanzania would also be impacted, added the statement issued by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Africa director, Fatoumata Nafo-Traore. Cyclone Kenneth passed the Indian Ocean archipelago nation Comoros on Thursday but its effects, including high winds and heavy rains, were still being felt, the country's Meteorological Office wrote on Facebook. "We must stay alert, avoid touching fallen power cables, wait for permission before driving and keep children at home," it wrote.
An AFP team in the Comoran capital Moroni saw shacks destroyed by the rain and wind, and high seas as a result of the cyclone. "I have three children, one is small just one month and ten days. We were here until 11 p.m. last night when things deteriorated," a local resident told AFP. "It was our neighbours who evacuated us."
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was "watching the approaching tropical storm in northeastern Mozambique closely". "This storm will hit the north and we are expecting that heavy rain will provoke flash floods and landslides impacting the northeastern provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula," it said in a statement. "WFP is working under government coordination and with other humanitarians on an emergency preparedness plan."
Latest ecmwf model run details.
Rain-Thunder overlay (3fps)
3 hr locations for the first 24 hrs, then 12 hr locations thereafter
Severe to record flooding levels are assured.
Latest visible and IR imagery
The core is touching the coast at this time.
Note that the eye has jogged SW within this latest image, and the outflow is looking more impressive than before. It's not weakening, it's actually beginning to look even stronger than it did earlier.
Winds are still given as 125 kt and 937 hPa via Dvorak (while ECMWF predicts 971 hPa), i.e stronger than Cyclone IDAI at landfall.
Kenneth appears to be further intensifying just prior to landfall.
And so it begins ... landfall!
It's moving fairly quickly toward land now and almost due west with 125kt winds and about 150 kt to 160 kt gusts (>275 km/hr gusts). It's a genuine category-4 at landfall.
The ecmwf model predicted the worst weather to be in the northern semi-circle, but the satellite images indicate the heavy weather has migrated to the southern semi-circle. Plus the CDO has built out rapidly to the west and narrowed in the north east. It also looks like the inner eye-wall was beginning to destabilize in the NE, so was probably about to initiate an eye-wall replacement cycle.
There's so much moist outflow that it's obscuring the storm at visible wavelengths (on top of poor resolution).
The outer core has made landfall right on low tide, but the eye will cross the coast nearer to high tide, so a large storm surge is possible soon after sundown, as the eye's passage drags the water on to the land.
Kenneth's inner-core bands are beginning to cross the coast.
120 kts 942 hPa
Fortunately cyclone Kenneth has struck the least populated and wilder part of Cabo Delgado Province. Nevertheless there are still a few hundred thousand people in the area.
"Quissanga District is a district of Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique. It covers 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi) with 40,486 inhabitants (2015)."
"Population (2007 census) • Total 76 ,139"
More floods loom as Cyclone Kenneth hits Mozambique
Africa / 25 April 2019, 4:20pm
Ali Amir Ahmed
Moroni - Violent winds of up to 140 kph (87 mph) lashed the East African island nation of Comoros overnight, killing three people, authorities said on Thursday, as Cyclone Kenneth swept towards flood-battered Mozambique. In Comoros, the winds caused widespread power outages in the northern part of the main island, Grande Comore, and the capital Moroni as well as on the island of Anjouan, residents said.
By Thursday afternoon, the cyclone was making its way to Mozambique, just over a month after Cyclone Idai tore through central Mozambique, virtually flattening the port city of Beira, flooding an area the size of Luxembourg and killing more than 1 000 people across the region. Kenneth may strengthen before it makes landfall on the continent, said Dipuo Tawana, forecaster at the South African Weather Service. It could bring seven- to nine-metre waves and a three-metre storm surge, she said, and was likely to linger over Mozambique, dumping rain until late Monday evening, bringing a risk of intense flooding. "The rainfall that we forecast for the next four days in the northeastern part of Mozambique - we have between 500 and 1 000 millimetres (19.5 to 39 inches) of rain," Tawana said.
FLOODS LOOM FOR MOZAMBIQUE
In Comoros, a Reuters correspondent saw fallen trees and debris from homes scattered over streets, and houses with their roofs torn off. President Azali Assoumani told reporters that three people had been were killed and several others injured. A few taxis were driving around the centre of Moroni on Thursday morning as police and soldiers cleared blocked roads. Government offices and schools were closed.
In Mozambique, authorities said on Wednesday that five rivers as well as coastal waterways could overflow, putting over 680 000 people at risk from the storm. Antonie Beleza, deputy national director of Mozambique's Centre for Emergency Operations, said the centre had been telling people for days to move out of 17 at-risk districts. "There were some people, they didn't want to move as of yesterday, so now we are just taking them out," he said by phone from the northern port town of Pemba. At least 5 000 people had moved out.
The energy firm Anadarko, which is developing large natural gas fields off Mozambique, said it had suspended air transportation in and out of the site as a precaution. Exxon Mobil, also involved in the fields, said its operations were normal for now, but that it was monitoring the situation.
Kenneth's eye is crossing the coast.
Awesome image of Kenneth while the sun is going down in Mozambique.
The tide is almost full, the other half of the storm will be in the dark.
The eye is now fully on shore:
ECMWF is currently lagging a full three hour step behind where the storm is presently located. It's also showing a category lower than actual, and has seriously underestimated the central pressure of the system. The storm also didn't weaken before landfall nor shrink as it crossed. ECMWF is also moving the storm westwards with a northerly component to it, while the actual storm is moving westwards with a southerly component to it.
But besides those imperfections the model did reasonably accurately forecast several days back that a dangerous cyclone would cross the coast about when it did, approximately where it did.
If a forecast is meant to produce a useful accurate warning ECMWF has done that very well.
Current overland track details cyclone Kenneth.
12 hr location steps
Cyclone Kenneth makes landfall in Mozambique
Officials say 680,000 people could be at risk
A powerful cyclone made landfall in northern Mozambique on Thursday evening, barely a month after a super storm slammed into the country's centre, killing hundreds and causing devastation. Cyclone Kenneth hit the north coast of Mozambique in Cabo Delgado province after swiping the Comoros, where it killed three people. The UN warned of flash flooding and landslides as winds of up to 280kph battered the northern coast. Some parts of the city are in darkness and strong wind has felled trees and destroyed boats.
"Cyclone Kenneth is currently making landfall on the north coast of Mozambique," the UN World Food Programme said. "The Cyclone is expected to bring heavy rains in the area for several days, with over 600 millimetres of rainfall expected." That volume of rain would be nearly double the 10 days of accumulated rainfall that caused flooding in Beira during Cyclone Idai.
A spokesman for Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management said the government had moved 30,000 people to safety from areas likely to be hit by the cyclone. "The compulsory evacuation process will continue until we have all people on secure ground," institute spokesman Paulo Tomas said.
The disaster centre said it had food supplies ready to assist 140,000 people for 15 days. Mozambican officials said on Wednesday that more than 680,000 people were at risk from the latest storm.
There were concerns that five rivers and coastal waterways could burst their banks, leading to severe flooding. Forecasters at Meteo-France warned that Kenneth could trigger waves as much as five metres higher than usual off Mozambique's north-eastern shore.
"I was quite preoccupied by the sea because they announced six metre waves," Anabela Moreira, the Portuguese owner of a lodge on Wimby Beach, told AFP. "The wind was very strong and I've never seen anything like it in my 15 years in Pemba." Jonas Wazir said that he "noticed that some precarious houses had fallen down". Mr Wazir said the electricity supply in the city was out and winds were gusting.
The Red Cross said it was especially concerned about the storm's effects, as many communities in Mozambique were still recovering from Idai, which hit on the night of March 14. The most powerful storm to strike the region in decades, Cyclone Idai cut a path of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It left more than 1,000 dead and caused an estimated $2 billion (Dh7.34bn) in damage.
Kenneth passed by the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Comoros on Thursday, battering it with high winds and heavy rains, the country's Meteorological Office wrote on Facebook. "We must stay alert, avoid touching fallen power cables, wait for permission before driving and keep children at home," it said. Resident Abdillah Alaoui said: "I have three children, one is small, just one month and 10 days. We were here until 11pm last night when things deteriorated."
Tanzanian authorities ordered schools and businesses to close in some southern districts on Thursday and urged people to brace for extreme winds and rain. The Tanzanian provinces of Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma were at highest risk and could experience strong winds and downpours from the middle of Thursday, the country's weather bureau said.
Updated: April 26, 2019 04:35 AM
NASA's AIRS Images Cyclone Kenneth over Mozambique
News | April 25, 2019
This infrared image from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) shows the temperature of clouds or the surface in and around Tropical Cyclone Kenneth as it was about to make landfall in northern Mozambique on Thursday, April 25. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Just weeks after Cyclone Idai left a path of destruction through Mozambique, Cyclone Kenneth is now battering the country in southeast Africa. It is likely the strongest storm on record to hit Mozambique, with wind speeds equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane at landfall. It is also the first time in recent history that the country has been hit by back-to-back hurricane-strength storms.
NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured this infrared image of Kenneth just as the storm was about to make landfall on April 25. The large purple area indicates very cold clouds carried high into the atmosphere by deep thunderstorms. The orange areas are mostly cloud-free; the clear air is caused by air moving outward from the cold clouds near the storm's center, then downward into the surrounding areas.
The image was taken at 1:30 p.m. local time, just before the cyclone made landfall in northern Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province. With maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (225 kph), Kenneth was the first known hurricane-strength storm to make landfall in the province. Heavy rainfall and life-threatening flooding are expected over the next several days.
AIRS, in conjunction with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth to provide a three-dimensional look at Earth's weather and climate. Working in tandem, the two instruments make simultaneous observations down to Earth's surface, even in the presence of heavy clouds. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the system creates a global, three-dimensional map of atmospheric temperature and humidity, cloud amounts and heights, greenhouse gas concentrations and many other atmospheric phenomena. Launched into Earth orbit in 2002, the AIRS and AMSU instruments fly onboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft and are managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, under contract with NASA. JPL is a division of Caltech.
Necessity is the mother of invention … and China also knows a golden opportunity to push its agenda when it sees one. For Mozambique the beggar can’t be the chooser, when no one else is coughing-up the foreign cash they absolutely need the kick-start their country again.
Xi Jinping Meets with President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique
2019/04/24 [i.e. one day prior to Cyclone Kenneth's landfall]
On April 24, 2019, President Xi Jinping met with President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique at the Great Hall of the People.
Xi Jinping said that Mr. President is welcome to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. In this forum, leaders of various countries will discuss issues of common interest such as the alignment of development policies, infrastructure connectivity and sustainable development under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to make greater contributions to promoting the development of the world economy and advancing international economic cooperation. Mozambique is an important stop on the ancient Maritime Silk Road [oh gimme a break! lol] and it has actively participated in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative in recent years. The two sides have reached an agreement on jointly promoting the cooperation plan of the Belt and Road Initiative and will always remain committed to improving quality and efficiency of mutually beneficial cooperation while enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation so as to continuously inherit and carry forward the traditional friendship of "comrades + brothers" between China and Mozambique.
Filipe Jacinto Nyusi thanked the Chinese side for promptly assisting Mozambique in responding to tropical cyclone disasters. The joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative is conducive to the global economic growth and a balanced development, and is very important for Mozambique and Africa. Mozambique congratulates the People's Republic of China on its 70th anniversary and is willing to deepen its strategic partnership with the Chinese side, strengthen cooperation in a wide range of fields, and carry out experience exchanges in state governance and administration. The Mozambican side is willing to play an active role in joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative in the African sub-region.
After the meeting, the two heads of state jointly witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents such as the cooperation plan of the construction of Belt and Road Initiative. Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi and He Lifeng attended the meeting.
And that’s how you get the aid and ‘loans’ to fix destroyed National infrastructure when traditional foreign aid donors can’t or won’t pay, nor provide the loans to rebuild it. It's maybe not such a good idea longer-term, but they do need to get the country repaired immediately and there are no other options on the table.
Roughly 3 days more rain, clearing north.
The really heavy rainfall will come when it turns east and then north to back-out to sea and dissipate. The worst of the rainfall is forecast to come over the next three days.
Heavy rain and storms continue in north eastern Mozambique. The area has only been pre-wetdown so far but will now experience a major flooding event. There are at least two days of heavy rain to come, possibly three.
The predicted inflow of heavy rain and thunderstorms are currently growing over NE Mozambique
Cyclone Kenneth causing havoc & mass destruction
27 Apr, 2019 - 00:04
JOHANNESBURG/LUANDA — Cyclone Kenneth killed at least one person and left a trail of destruction in northern Mozambique, destroying houses, ripping up trees and knocking out power, authorities said yesterday. The cyclone brought storm surges and wind gusts of up to 280 km per hour (174 mph) when it made landfall on Thursday evening, after killing three people in the island nation of Comoros.
It was the most powerful storm on record to hit Mozambique’s northern coast and came just six weeks after Cyclone Idai battered the impoverished nation, causing devastating floods and killing more than 1,000 people across a swathe of southern Africa. The World Food Programme warned that Kenneth could dump as much as 600 millimetres of rain on the region over the next 10 days – twice that brought by Cyclone Idai. One woman in the port town of Pemba died after being hit by a falling tree, the Emergency Operations Committee for Cabo Delgado (COE) said in a statement, while another person was injured.
In rural areas outside Pemba, many homes are made of mud. In the main town on the island of Ibo, 90 percent of the houses were destroyed, officials said.
Around 15,000 people were out in the open or in “overcrowded” shelters and there was a need for tents, food and water, they said.
There were also reports of a large number of homes and some infrastructure destroyed in Macomia district, a mainland district adjacent to Ibo.
A local group, the Friends of Pemba Association, had earlier reported that they could not reach people in Muidumbe, a district further inland.
Mark Lowcock, United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, warned the storm could require another major humanitarian operation in Mozambique.
“Cyclone Kenneth marks the first time two cyclones have made landfall in Mozambique during the same season, further stressing the government’s limited resources,” he said in a statement.
Shaquila Alberto, owner of the beach-front Messano Flower Lodge in Macomia, said there were many fallen trees there, and in rural areas people’s homes had been damaged. Some areas of nearby Pemba had no power. [Pemba was on the fringe of the southern core] “Even my workers, they said the roof and all the things fell down,” she said by phone.
Further south, in Pemba, Elton Ernesto, a receptionist at Raphael’s Hotel, said there were fallen trees but not too much damage. The hotel had power and water, he said, while phones rang in the background. “The rain has stopped,” he added. [and is about the recommence in earnest over the next two days]
However, Michael Charles, an official for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said heavy rains over the next few days were likely to bring a “second wave of destruction” in the form of flooding. “The houses are not all solid, and the topography is very sandy,” Charles said.
In the days after Cyclone Idai, heavy inland rains prompted rivers to burst their banks, submerging entire villages, cutting areas off from aid and ruining crops. There were concerns the same could happen again in northern Mozambique. Before Kenneth hit, the government and aid workers moved around 30,000 people to safer buildings such as schools, however authorities said that around 680,000 people were in the path of the storm. — Reuters
Mozambique Braces for Flooding After Cyclone Hits, Killing One
April 26, 2019 5:55 PM
Children walk past a damaged building in the aftermath of the Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 26, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media.
[Keep in mind that this house in Pemba was on the southern margin of Kenneth's core - this is the damage level from its lower windfield area.]
VOA U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer contributed to this report.
The second powerful cyclone to hit Mozambique in six weeks has left at least one person dead, destroyed homes and knocked out power, authorities said. Cyclone Kenneth made landfall Thursday evening in the north of the country with sustained winds of 220 kilometers per hour, and the United Nations warned Friday of massive flooding ahead.
The storm followed Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique in mid-March and was labeled by the U.N. as "one of the deadliest storms on record in the Southern Hemisphere." Idai caused devastating flooding and killed 1,000 people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The World Food Program warned Friday that Kenneth could dump 600 mm (more than 23 inches) of rain on the region over the next 10 days, twice the amount of rain brought by Idai. Mozambique officials said Friday that a woman in the city of Pemba was killed by a falling tree.
They said the storm had destroyed about 90 percent of the homes on the island of Ibo. Many homes in rural areas of Mozambique are made of mud. The cyclone also cut off electricity on the island and toppled a mobile phone tower, cutting off communications. Authorities said Pemba, the largest city in the cyclone-hit region, also had significant power outages.
"Cyclone Kenneth may require a major new humanitarian operation,'' even as post-Cyclone Idai relief operations are continuing, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said. Antonio Carabante, relief delegate with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said the organization was very concerned about the expected heavy rainfall. "While attention is often given to wind speed, we know from experience that it is rainfall — and subsequent flooding and landslides — that can be even more dangerous from a humanitarian perspective," he said.
This was the first time on record that Mozambique had been hit by two cyclones in one season, U.N. officials said. Before reaching Mozambique, Kenneth swept over the island nation of Comoros, killing three people.
Keep in mind that this NE Mozambique province has no record of a direct-hit from any cyclone on its shoreline (although there are several visible major scour lines from past very high-energy cyclonic storm-surge events all along its coastline on satellite imagery of the area) thus it's infrastructure has never experienced or even been engineered and developed to deal with such a storm event. And nor have the buildings, ports, water supply or power grid. It will take most of a week from landfall before we get a clearer view of what's really occurred and it will be much more damaging than initial reports from the margins of the storm suggest.
Good will and hopefully better luck for the people of Mozambique. Maybe this time countries that can will send more aid.