The strongest cyclone ever to hit Mozambique has made landfall in the country’s north, five weeks after Cyclone Idai devastated its center, according to meteorologists. Surpassing both Idai and the 2000 cyclone that had been the strongest to date, Cyclone Kenneth hit Cabo Delgado province with wind speeds of 140mph (225km/h), bringing the threat of extreme rainfall. After forming off Madagascar’s coast earlier this week, Kenneth passed to the north of the island nation of Comoros on Wednesday night, killing three people and causing widespread damage to homes and infrastructure.
Mozambique has confirmed more than 1,000 cases of cholera as an outbreak of the water-borne disease spreads following a tropical cyclone last month which has so far killed at least 598 people in the southeast African nation. The number of cholera infections rose from 246 on March 30, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday. The outbreak is compounding what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described as one of the worst weather-related disasters in African history. More than 820 people have died in flooding across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Some 15,000 people still need to be rescued from the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai, Mozambique officials say. The cyclone victims there are stranded by catastrophic flooding and are clinging to roofs or stuck in trees, charities say. Some 300 people are confirmed dead in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but the toll is expected to rise. The powerful cyclone swept in to Beira last Thursday, with winds of more than 177km/h (106 mph). It left a trail of devastation as it moved inland.
Cyclone Idai may have killed more than 1,000 people in Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi said in an address on national radio Monday. “Officially, we have a record of more than 84 dead but everything indicates that we can have a record of more than 1,000 dead,” Nyusi said, adding that “100,000 people are in danger.” “Waters from the rivers Pungue and Buzi have broken their banks, wiping out entire villages, isolating communities and we could see, as we flew above, bodies floating,” the President said.