Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique on 25 April 2019. It was the strongest storm to ever hit the country. Photo credit: Save the Children

Thousands of Children at Risk as Torrential Rain Hampers Aid Efforts in Mozambique Following Cyclone Kenneth

Cyclone Kenneth Strongest Storm to Ever Hit Northern Mozambique, Just Weeks After Devastating Cyclone Idai

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (April 28, 2019) – In the wake of Cyclone Kenneth, torrential rain continues to lash Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique causing flash flooding and leaving thousands of children and adults without access to desperately needed emergency supplies, Save the Children said today. 

Cyclone Kenneth, the strongest storm to ever to hit northern Mozambique, has caused extensive damage, ripping homes apart and wiping out entire communities. Initial reports indicate the islands of Matemo, Ibo and Quirimba have taken the full force of the storm and have been totally destroyed.

“We have grave fears for the thousands of families currently taking shelter under the wreckage of their homes. They urgently need food, water and shelter to survive the coming days,” said Nicholas Finney, Save the Children’s Response Team Leader in Mozambique.  

“Today Save the Children tried to reach families affected by Cyclone Kenneth but we had to turn back because rivers had burst their banks and the roads were under water. Flights and helicopters have also been grounded and this means humanitarian access is virtually impossible. We are desperately trying to look for ways to deliver emergency supplies,” said Finney.

Finney continued, “There was a small break in the weather yesterday when COSACA, a consortium including Save the Children, Oxfam and CARE, managed to deliver 1,200 tarpaulins in Macomia district to families who have lost their homes. But today we can no longer reach these locations due to the flooding and we fear people will be forced to fend for themselves.”

Cyclone Kenneth comes just over a month since Cyclone Idai tore through central Mozambique. Idai caused widespread damage impacting 1.85 million people, including almost 1 million children, and killing more than 600 people. 

“It’s an awful sense of déjà vu. Just six weeks ago we faced a similar situation in central Mozambique when Cyclone Idai hit the region and floods cut off communities for days,” Finney added. “The response for Cyclone Idai is already chronically underfunded and resources are stretched to the limit. With people in northern Mozambique also now needing assistance, Save the Children is calling on the international community to urgently provide funds to support both responses.”

Approximately 700,000 people in northern Mozambique were in the path of Cyclone Kenneth. It is also the first time in recorded history that Mozambique has experienced two cyclones of this magnitude in one season.

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