The death toll in northern Mozambique has risen to five and more than 70 000 are trapped after strong winds caused by hurricane strength Cyclone Kenneth flattened entire villages all while fears are rising that flooding rain will put more lives in danger over the next few days.
According to the U.N., the strike by Kenneth marked the first time in recorded history that Mozambique has been hit by two powerful cyclones in the same season. Last month, the central part of the country was desimated by Cyclone Idai, which resulted in hundreds of fatalities and the displacement of almost two million people.
According to the BBC, Gemma Connell, the head of the regional Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said it looked from the air like areas and some of the villages had been run over by a bulldozer.
Cyclone Kenneth came barely a month after Cyclone Idai killed more than 900 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
In a video posted on Twitter after flying over the affected area, Ms Connell pledged to work with local authorities “to get people the supplies they need”.
“The weather is still bad, it is still raining,” she said. “But thankfully the winds have died down.”
The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani reports that damage to power lines in parts of northern Mozambique is making communication difficult.
More than 30 000 people have taken shelter in makeshift displacement centres, including schools and churches, our correspondent adds.
A UN spokesman, quoting Mozambique’s government said a total of five people have now died.
One person was earlier reported to have been killed when Cyclone Kenneth struck after being crushed by a falling tree. The storm also killed three people on the island nation of Comoros.