Quantcast

Mozambique Hit by Second Historic Cyclone in Little Over a Month

Climate
People stand by fallen trees on April 25 in Moroni after tropical storm Kenneth hit Comoros before heading to recently cyclone-ravaged Mozambique. IBRAHIM YOUSSOUF / AFP / Getty Images

Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province on Thursday as the strongest storm to ever hit the country, The Guardian reported. It struck with wind speeds of 140 miles per hour and was expected to raise waves 16 feet higher than usual and bring torrential rain.


The storm comes little over a month after Cyclone Idai killed more than 700 people, displaced tens of thousands and caused $1 billion in damage, making it the deadliest and costliest storm in Mozambique's history, CNN reported. In the entire region, including Mozambique's neighbors Malawi and Zimbabwe, Idai killed more than 1,000 and forced millions from their homes, The New York Times reported.

"It's really an anomaly in the history of cyclones in this region. There's never been two storms this strong hit in the same year, let alone within five weeks of each other in Mozambique," meteorologist Eric Holthaus told The Guardian.

Kenneth has already killed one person in Mozambique, who was struck by a falling coconut tree in the city of Pemba, BBC News reported. The storm was downgraded to an ex-cyclone Friday as winds decreased, but France's meteorological agency predicts more than 23.6 inches of rain could fall over the next few days. That's nearly double the 10 days of rainfall that caused devastating flooding in the port city of Beira during Cyclone Idai.

It's the extreme rainfall that can be directly linked to climate change, Holthaus told The Guardian.

"We have very strong evidence that everywhere in the world, rainfall is getting more intense. So that means you can get the same amount of rainfall, but it just happens in a shorter period of time, because if the atmosphere is warmer then that will create more intense thunderstorms that rain out faster," Hotlhaus said. "We can directly link Kenneth with climate change for that reason. Not only is this an extremely intense rainfall event, globally, but it's being made worse because of climate change."

Cabo Delgado, where Kenneth struck, is 600 miles northeast of Beira. The region had never before in modern history been struck by a hurricane-force storm, The New York Times reported.

"This is another potential tragedy for Mozambique," Oxfam manager Dorothy Sang told The New York Times. "We're still struggling to scale up and meet the needs of everyone after the last cyclone. This will make it much harder."

Mozambique has already taken out a $118 million loan from the International Monetary Fund to help pay for recovery from Idai, The Guardian reported.

Sang said that since the region hit by Kenneth was not used to strong storms, residents would be less prepared for flooding. Further complicating matters is the fact that violence by Islamic militants has forced thousands of people to flee to camps for displaced persons in the region, BBC reported.

However, the region is less densely populated than the area impacted by Idai and has more elevation. In addition, the government evacuated 30,000 people from the storm's path. However, reports have said that thousands of homes have been flattened by the wind.

Before hitting Mozambique, Kenneth traveled north of the island of Comoros, killing three people and causing massive damage, The Guardian reported.

Mozambique's northern neighbor, Tanzania, has also responded to the storm by closing schools and businesses in parts of the south, BBC News reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signs the so-called Affordable Clean Energy rule on June 19, replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that would have reduced coal-fired plant carbon emissions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Twitter

By Elliott Negin

On July 8, President Trump hosted a White House event to unabashedly tout his truly abysmal environmental record. The following day, coincidentally, marked the one-year anniversary of Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first as acting administrator and then as administrator after the Senate confirmed him in late February.

Read More Show Less
A timber sale in the Kaibab National Forest. Dyan Bone / Forest Service / Southwestern Region / Kaibab National Forest

By Tara Lohan

If you're a lover of wilderness, wildlife, the American West and the public lands on which they all depend, then journalist Christopher Ketcham's new book is required — if depressing — reading.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
Somalians fight against hunger and lack of water due to drought as Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar (not seen) visits the a camp near the Mogadishu's rural side in Somalia on March 25, 2017. Sadak Mohamed / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

World hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year after decades of decline, a new United Nations (UN) report says. The climate crisis ranks alongside conflict as the top cause of food shortages that force more than 821 million people worldwide to experience chronic hunger. That number includes more than 150 million children whose growth is stunted due to a lack of food.

Read More Show Less
Eduardo Velev cools off in the spray of a fire hydrant during a heatwave on July 1, 2018 in Philadelphia. Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

By Adrienne L. Hollis

Because extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather hazards we currently face, Union of Concerned Scientist's Killer Heat Report for the U.S. is the most important document I have read. It is a veritable wake up call for all of us. It is timely, eye-opening, transparent and factual and it deals with the stark reality of our future if we do not make changes quickly (think yesterday). It is important to ensure that we all understand it. Here are 10 terms that really help drive home the messages in the heat report and help us understand the ramifications of inaction.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Senator Graham returns after playing a round of golf with Trump on Oct. 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Ron Sachs – Pool / Getty Images

Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senate Republican who has been a close ally of Donald Trump, did not mince words last week on the climate crisis and what he thinks the president needs to do about it.

Read More Show Less
A small Bermuda cedar tree sits atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. todaycouldbe / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Marlene Cimons

Kyle Rosenblad was hiking a steep mountain on the island of Maui in the summer of 2015 when he noticed a ruggedly beautiful tree species scattered around the landscape. Curious, and wondering what they were, he took some photographs and showed them to a friend. They were Bermuda cedars, a species native to the island of Bermuda, first planted on Maui in the early 1900s.

Read More Show Less
krisanapong detraphiphat / Moment / Getty Images

By Grace Francese

You may know that many conventional oat cereals contain troubling amounts of the carcinogenic pesticide glyphosate. But another toxic pesticide may be contaminating your kids' breakfast. A new study by the Organic Center shows that almost 60 percent of the non-organic milk sampled contains residues of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide scientists say is unsafe at any concentration.

Read More Show Less