Cyclone to reach Mozambique on Thursday
Weather forecasters say Cyclone Kenneth will make landfall on Mozambique’s coast on Thursday, bringing heavy rainfall, strong winds and waves of several metres to the southern African nation, which is still reeling from the effects of devastating Cyclone Idai.
“It’s going to make landfall tomorrow afternoon at Cabo Delgado, on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, and it is going to be a cyclone with wind speeds which could be 140 km per hour (87 miles per hour),” said Jan Vermeulen, from the South African Weather Service.
International energy companies such as Exxon Mobil have been developing huge natural gas fields off the coast of northern Mozambique.
A cyclone report issued by a regional cyclone-monitoring centre on the French island of La Reunion said parts of southern Tanzania could also be affected by Cyclone Kenneth.
“The (weather) system will generate a storm surge when landing on the coast of Mozambique, which can reach between 2 and 4 metres in some areas, to which must be added the breaking of waves and heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding in Mozambique,” the report said.
April 24, 2019: Comoros closes airports, schools
Comoran media are reporting that authorities have closed airports and schools for at least 24 hours as a precautionary measure ahead of the impending tropical storm that has been dubbed Cyclone Kenneth.
The Comoros islands have been on a cyclone alert since Tuesday, along with Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania.
The northern Grand Comore island is on the path of the severe tropical storm, which is expected to turn into a cyclone later today.
April 23, 2019: Mozambique braces for yet another cyclone
Mozambique is bracing itself for another tropical storm that could hit the country later this week, one month after the devastating Cyclone Idai.
An alert posted on the Facebook page of the Hurricanes, Typhoons and Cyclones centre warns of a tropical cyclone, to be called ‘Kenneth’, which may have consequences for the northern part of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, as well as southern Tanzania from Tuesday to the end of the month.
The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) said it was monitoring the low pressure system situated over northern Madagascar, which could reach Northern Mozambique and Southern Tanzania between Wednesday and Thursday.
How prepared is Mozambique?
The INGC, together with the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), the ministries of Health and Agriculture and Food Security and cooperation partners, met in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo on Tuesday to discuss the meteorological and hydrological situation of the country over the last seven days.
“We will keep abreast of the evolution of this weather system. As you know, the INGC, INAM and the National Directorate of Water Resources work in an integrated manner,” INGC spokesman Paulo Tomás said after the meeting.
The authorities however believe it is premature to take extreme measures preparing for landfall, since it was ‘yet only a prediction’.
Nevertheless, INAM is gathering more concise information about the system in order to alert cooperation partners about possible responses to be initiated in the Northern part of Cabo Delgado.
On March 14, Mozambique was hit by Tropical Cyclone Idai, which caused more than 600 deaths, left hundreds missing and displaced thousands. The cyclone also severely affected Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The International Monetary Fund said last week it will grant Mozambique a $118.2 million credit facility to help it rebuild infrastructure.
Madagascar, Comoros and Mayotte at risk
Before reaching the Eastern Africa coastline, the tropical storm is expected to pose life-threatening risks to people living in the Indian Ocean islands.
It is expected to enhance rainfall across far northern Madagascar from Tuesday night into Wednesday, while Mayotte and Comoros are also listed as locations at risk.