UN agencies worried about post cyclone situation in Mozambique

Spokespersons from various United Nations agencies have expressed their concerns about the current situation in northern Mozambique, which has been hit hard by Cyclone Kenneth.

The storm made landfall late on Thursday in Cabo Delgado province, packing wind gusts of up to 220 kilometres per hour.

Roads have been washed away, fields submerged and many buildings wrecked by the storm, which came weeks after Cyclone Idai struck the Mozambican city of Beira, 1000 kilometres (620 miles) to the south.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) described it as the strongest cyclone to ever lash the continent, and predicted further heavy rain over the coming days.

“Cyclone Kenneth made landfall at the end of the rainy season, when river levels were already high, increasing the risk of river flooding,” the UN agency said in its latest update.

“Humanitarian needs in Mozambique have sky-rocketed, and the humanitarian response will need to rapidly scale-up.”

According to figures provided by the Mozambique authorities to NGOs, around 200,000 people in Pemba city, the capital of Cabo Delgado, are in danger.

The National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) said 38 people had died, 39 had been injured, more than 23 000 people were without shelter and nearly 35,000 homes had been either partly or completely destroyed.