New Cyclone Set to Hit Mozambique Again04/25 06:31
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- A powerful tropical cyclone is expected to make
landfall by early Friday in northern Mozambique, just six weeks after Cyclone
Idai devastated the central part of the country and left hundreds dead.
Mozambique is one of the world's poorest countries and Cyclone Idai wiped
out crops in the southern African nation's breadbasket on the eve of harvest.
Hundreds of thousands of people could face hunger in the months ahead, and a
new storm bringing fresh flooding will further complicate efforts to recover.
Cyclone Kenneth could bring heavy rains and flooding to northeastern
Mozambique, which was not hit by the earlier storm, and southern Tanzania,
which told coastal residents to flee. The Pacific Disaster Center has forecast
that landfall will occur north of the Mozambican city of Pemba.
The new cyclone threatens an area of Mozambique where residents are not used
to such strong storms, the United Nations humanitarian agency said. That
includes Cabo Delgado province, which has seen a rise in deadly militant
attacks in recent months.
An overnight arrival of the new cyclone could catch some residents by
surprise despite warnings to seek higher ground. Cyclone Idai also roared in
overnight, and some residents later said they either had not been aware of
authorities' warnings or didn't expect the dramatic flooding that followed.
A video posted by Mozambique's disaster management office showed director
Augusta Maita warning residents that the new storm could be as strong as
The U.N. called Idai "one of the deadliest storms on record in the southern
hemisphere," and the arrival of another major storm will again raise concerns
about climate change. Low-lying Mozambique's 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile)
Indian Ocean coastline makes the country one of the world's most vulnerable to
global warming's rising waters.
As it approached Mozambique, Cyclone Kenneth left people in the Indian Ocean
island nation of Comoros without power, with some losing their homes. There was
no immediate report of any casualties.
In Tanzania, the government told students and workers in the southern
regions of Lindi, Mtwara and Ruvuma to stay home but said people living near
the coast should evacuate.
The U.N., the Red Cross and other aid organizations were already bracing for
what could be another large relief operation, again in mostly rural areas. The
U.N. already had expressed concern that its $342 million aid appeal for what
will be months of Cyclone Idai relief work in Mozambique and neighboring
Zimbabwe is just 24% funded .
"Although floodwaters have receded in most areas affected by Cyclone Idai,
access is still a challenge as infrastructure was severely compromised," U.N.
World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel said in a statement. "Another
storm would be an additional blow for the people of Mozambique and further
complicate the response in all areas."
He said the agency has 300 metric tons of "food commodities" already
positioned in Mozambique's northern coastal towns of Palma and Mocimboa da
Praia and that its local partner has been told to protect the warehouses to
"weather the storm."