Cyclone Kenneth Leaves Path of Destruction in Mozambique

The powerful storm, packing the strength of a Category 4 hurricane, caused widespread damage in the districts of Quissanga and Macomia in northern Mozambique and on the island of Ibo.

On Twitter, Met Office Storms said: "Cyclone Kenneth now has sustained winds over 100mph".

Kenneth pounded Mozambique barely a month after Cyclone Idai struck the country, killing more than 1,000 people in Mozambique and in neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Victims, residents, and aid workers told Human Rights Watch that local community leaders, some linked to the ruling Frelimo party, demanded money from people affected by the cyclone in exchange for including their names on the aid distribution list, the statement said.

"The weather is still bad, it is still raining", she said. At the moment there is no rain and the wind is dying down for now.

Nearly 20,000 people have taken shelter in makeshift displacement centres, including schools and churches, our correspondent adds.

Authorities in the island nation of Comoros have closed airports for at least 24 hours as a precautionary measure against the cyclone expected there on Wednesday, reports privately-owned Comores Infos news website.

Is this unusual for the region?

"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. "The trajectory of this impending catastrophe has been given by our early warning units, the Meteorological Service Department (MSD) whose model projections are also supported by those given SADC", he said.

The height of the storm surge is measured above and beyond the normal sea level rises associated with tidal changes.

"The compulsory evacuation process will continue until we have all people in secure ground", INGC spokesman Paulo Tomas said.

The World Food Programme warned that Kenneth could in the coming days dump twice as much rain on northern Mozambique, raising concerns of a repeat of the flooding in a region prone to floods and landslides. When we finished, he gave me only a kilo of beans.

What is the affected area like?

It is the second major cyclone to hit Mozambique in five weeks, and one of the strongest storms to ever hit mainland Africa.

Thousands of people had already fled their homes to seek shelter from violence in camps for displaced people.

Reuters was not able to reach other officials in the region on Saturday.

Tanzanian authorities ordered schools and businesses shut in some southern districts on Thursday and urged people to brace for extreme winds and rain.

The government also said about 90 percent of the homes on the island of Ibo, home to about 6,000 people, were destroyed.

  • Leroy Wright