Tuesday 21 May 2019

In Pictures: Serious flooding rages in Mozambique after Cyclone Kenneth

A woman jumps across a flooded street as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A woman jumps across a flooded street as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A man wades through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A child wades through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A child wades through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A child looks on at floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A group of men wade through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A group of men wade through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A man wades through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A man walks down a flooded street as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Men wade through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
An elderly woman creates a drainage system near her shop to clear away floodwaters due to heavy rains in Pemba, Mozambique, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A child drinks water from a gutter during floods due to heavy rains in Pemba, Mozambique, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Community members stand near a house where a woman died when her home collapsed due to flooding in Pemba, Mozambique, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A woman stand next to a collapsed house where a neighbour was killed due to heavy rains in Pemba, Mozambique, Sunday , April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS
A pregnant woman makes her way out of her flooded home in Natite neighbourhood, in Pemba city on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, Sunday, April, 28, 2019.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A woman scoops water from her flooded house in Natite neighbourhood, in Pemba city on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, Sunday, April, 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A man clears rubble on a street, in Pemba, on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, Sunday, April, 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
People leave their flooded homes, in Natite neighbourhood, in Pemba, on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, Sunday, April, 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A family walks in the rain, in Natite neighbourhood, Pemba, on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, Sunday, April, 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A woman walks through rising waters in Natite neighbourhood, in Pemba city on the northeastern coast of Mozambique, Sunday, April, 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Farai Mutsaka

Serious flooding raged on Sunday in parts of northern Mozambique hit by Cyclone Kenneth three days ago.

The government urged people to immediately seek higher ground. Hundreds of thousands of people were at risk with more rain forecast for days ahead.

"Help us, we are losing everything," residents in the region's main city, Pemba, shouted at passing cars as the rushing waters flooded their homes and heavy rain fell. Women and girls with buckets and pots tried to scoop away the torrent.

Houses began to collapse and a rescue team was mobilised, United Nations workers said. "We are unfortunately expecting devastating floods," the UN humanitarian agency said in a tweet.

The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS

Kenneth arrived just six weeks after Cyclone Idai ripped into central Mozambique and killed more than 600 people with flooding.

The new storm's remnants could dump twice as much rain as Idai, the UN World Programme has said. As much as 9 inches, or about a quarter of the average annual rainfall for the region, had been forecast over the next few days.

A child wades through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A child wades through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

"I have never seen such rains in my life," said one Pemba resident, 35-year-old Michael Fernando. Up to 4 inches were forecast in the next 24 hours for some parts of the region, Mozambique's meteorological institute said.

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.

A child looks on at floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A child looks on at floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Some Pemba residents tried to pile up tyres and sand-filled sacks as barricades. Children took refuge in a bus that appeared to be stuck as vehicles struggled on the streets. Cars began to slip under the waters.

There was no immediate word of deaths on Sunday. Authorities have said at least five people died after Kenneth roared in Thursday evening with the force of a Category 4 hurricane, stunning residents of a region where such a storm had not been recorded in the modern era.

More than 160,000 people have been affected in the largely rural region, many already exposed and hungry. More than 35,000 homes in parts of Mozambique's northernmost Cabo Delgado were partially or fully destroyed by the storm.

On Saturday, aerial photos showed several coastal communities flattened by the storm. "Not a single house is standing any more," said Saviano Abreu, a spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency.

A group of men wade through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A group of men wade through floodwaters as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A woman jumps across a flooded street as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A woman jumps across a flooded street as rain falls in the aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth in Pemba, Mozambique, April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS
The aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth is seen in Macomia District, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique April 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media on April 28, 2019. OCHA/Saviano Abreu/via REUTERS

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