The death toll in cyclone-hit northern Mozambique has risen to 38, officials say, as aid workers struggle to reach the worst-affected areas.
Mozambique’s National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), confirmed that 38 people have been killed by Cyclone Kenneth, while another 35 000 homes have been destroyed or damaged.
Humanitarian needs have sky-rocketed, and the humanitarian response will need to rapidly scale up.
Some 200 000 people are in danger in Pemba alone, Ocha warned. Spokesman Saviano Abreu added that the situation in the northern towns of Macomia and Quissanga was critical, while there were also worries for the cut-off island of Ibo.
But attempts to reach those areas had not been entirely successful.
“We managed to send one flight with World Food Programme (WFP) supplies of rice and biscuits, and some non-food items,” Mr Abreu said.
“But unfortunately the weather conditions are changing too fast and threatening the operation. It’s raining again and the second flight couldn’t go.”
On Sunday a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was appealing for “additional resources” from the international community “to fund the response in the immediate, medium and longer term”.
Cyclone Kenneth struck the southern African nation last week with winds of 220km/h, flattening villages and damaging thousands more homes.
The storm lost strength, but torrential rain was still battering the area on Monday, with more expected.
As a result, flights have been grounded – hindering the aid effort.
It is predicted the weather system will dump twice as much rainfall as Cyclone Idai, which struck last month, leaving more than 900 dead across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
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 2 metres of rain and flooding.