Cyclone Kenneth: Why it’s worse than we thought

The situation in northern Mozambique is worse than thought, a UN spokesman says, days after Cyclone Kenneth ravaged the country.

The death toll in cyclone-hit northern Mozambique has risen to 38, officials say, as aid workers struggle to reach the worst-affected areas.

The system struck the Africa nation on Thursday with winds of 220km/h (140mph) which flattened whole villages.

Around 700,000 people are now thought to be at risk in the area as torrential rains continue.

Pemba, regional capital of Cabo Delgado state, has experienced more than 2m (6.5ft) of rain and flooding.

The flood risk was compounded by Kenneth hitting at the end of the rainy season when river levels were already high, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) noted.

Already, Pemba, the regional capital of Cabo Delgado state, has experienced more than 2m (6.5ft) of rain and flooding.

Cyclone Kenneth hit the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado late on Thursday, flattening entire villages with winds of up to 280 kph (174 mph).

The World Bank estimates Mozambique and other countries affected by the tropical storm will need over $2 billion to recover.

Waves up to 4m high are expected, and aid agencies fear rains will worsen.

“We are very worried because, according to the forecasts, heavy rain is expected for the next four days,” Deborah Nguyen, UN World Food Programme spokeswoman, told AFP news agency.

“We expect the rainfall to be twice as much as that which accompanied Cyclone Idai,” she added.

Cyclone Idai killed more than 900 people across three countries in March this year.

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