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Five dead, 160,000 displaced after floods in Mozambique, UN calls for help

Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 28, 2019
People are being told to move to higher ground as flooding rages in northern Mozambique, which has been battered by Cyclone Kenneth over the last three days.
Mozambique flood
Africa   People are being told to move to higher ground
With more rain forecast for the coming days, hundreds of thousands of people are at risk.

Cyclone Kenneth has left five dead in Mozambique as of Sunday as rescuers struggled through floods to reach stranded people and move them to safety. The flooding is worst in the northern port city of Pemba, where 4,500 people have left their homes for refugee shelters.

Throughout the country, more than 160,000 people have been displaced by the cyclone, 30,000 houses have been destroyed, and 24,000 people are in need of shelter, according to the World Food Program.

With Mozambique and Comoros battling heavy rains and raging flood waters in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth the United Nations and its humanitarian partners are supporting national authorities in assessing needs and providing help.

UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said on Sunday that Secretary-General António Guterres is appealing to the international community for additional resources, critically needed to fund the response to the twin tragedies in the immediate, medium- and longer-term.

“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened at reports of loss of lives and destruction in Mozambique and Comoros as a result of tropical cyclone Kenneth, six weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe,” the Spokesman said in a statement.

The UN chief also extended his condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims and to the governments and peoples of Mozambique and Comoros.

In a flash update earlier Sunday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said the cyclone, with powerful winds that ripped the roofs off homes, caused the death of at least five people in Mozambique’s Pemba city, Macomia district and on Ibo Island, according to Government reports.

Some 3,500 homes in Comoros have been totally or partially destroyed and there are reports of electrical outages, road blockages and at least one bridge collapse, according to WFP.

The UN and its partners have been in the region since late March, after Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira City in central Mozambique. The long-lived cyclone continued across land as a Tropical Storm and hit eastern Zimbabwe, southeastern Malawi and parts of Madagascar with heavy rains and strong winds.