PEMBA, Mozambique — Mozambique’s government urged many people to immediately seek higher ground Saturday in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth, fearing flooding and mudslides in the days ahead as heavy rain lashed the region.
At least five people were killed, the government said. Mozambique’s disaster management agency said one person died in Pemba city and another in hard-hit Macomia district, while residents on Ibo island said two people died there. Details on the fifth death were not immediately available.
Aerial photos showed some communities nearly flattened by the storm. About 3,500 homes in parts of the country’s northernmost Cabo Delgado province were partially or fully destroyed, with electricity cut, roads blocked and at least one key bridge collapsed. Schools and health centers were damaged. Nearly 700,000 people could be at risk, many left exposed and hungry as waters rise.
Rain is forecast over the next several days, and Mozambique’s meteorological authority said the storm could potentially move back out to sea and intensify again.
Cyclone Kenneth arrived late Thursday, only six weeks after Cyclone Idai ripped into central Mozambique and killed more than 600 people. This was the first time in recorded history that the southern African nation has been hit by two cyclones in one season, again raising concerns about climate change.