Heavy rains from a powerful cyclone lashed northern Mozambique on Saturday, sparking fears of flooding as the death toll rose to five, the prime minister announced.
“Up until now we have had five deaths,” Carlos Do Rosario told reporters in Pemba, the capital of the northern province of Cabo Delgado which was ravaged by Cyclone Kenneth.
The earlier toll given was one – a death caused by a falling coconut tree in Pemba.
The Category Three storm on the hurricane scale struck after swiping the Comoros islands. It made landfall on Friday.
“Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has now ‘stalled’ over Cabo Delgado ... where it is expected to bring heavy rains in the coming days,” said OCHA, the UN’s humanitarian coordination office, adding that it would remain in the area “for at least two days.”
“The stalling of the weather system is likely to cause significant flooding in Cabo Delgado, as well as high rainfall in southern Tanzania, over the next 10 days,” it warned.
Mozambique’s emergencies agency, the INGC, reported severe flooding, mudslides, and widespread power outages.
It said Kenneth – which has now receded into a tropical depression – had damaged or destroyed 3,300 homes while about 18,000 people were housed in emergency shelters.
Communities in central Mozambique are still reeling from Cyclone Idai, which hit on the night of March 14-15, causing killer floods that swept away homes, roads, and bridges.
The storm also smashed into Zimbabwe and Malawi. In the three countries, more than a thousand lives were lost, and the damage is estimated at around $2 billion.