Another potentially destructive Cyclone is forming in the Indian Ocean and headed in the path toward northern Mozambique, just a month after a similar storm devastated the eastern African nation, Al-Jazeera reports.
Cyclone Kenneth is strengthening each day and is expected to reach the country on Thursday. It marks the second recent storm system to affect Mozambique. In March, the country was pummeled in the wake of Cyclone Idai, which made two landfalls that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people. The storm also hit parts of Zimbabwe.
Forecasters say it doesn’t appear that Kenneth will come close to delivering the devastation that Idai did in terms of death or damage to properties, but still the storm is expected to reach Mozambique on Thursday afternoon and deliver gusting winds of between 120 mph to 149 mph, roughly the equivalent of a category three hurricane, according to Al-Jazeera.
First Cyclone Kenneth is expected to hit just north of the small island nation of Comoros on Wednesday evening. The island has been put on alert to anticipate heavy rain and an expected storm surge.
The next day, Kenneth is forecasted to make landfall in northern Mozambique near the city of Quiterajo, which is located in the Cabo Delgado province. The cyclone is expected to bring heavy bouts of rain and accumulations of between 350 to over 600mm from the on start into the weekend, resulting in coastal and inland flooding for the province and a much lower rainfall total to reach the border into Tanzania.
This year has been unusual for Mozambique as typically few tropical storms and cyclones ever reach the country’s coast.
Forecasters estimate that storm surges from Kenneth’s point of landfall southwards could reach up to nearly 10 feet on top of normal tide levels. If Kenneth continues on its expected trajectory, it could become one of the biggest storms ever to hit the area, according to Al-Jazeera.