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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
For the second time in less than a month, Mozambique has been hit by a killer cyclone. The death toll from Tropical Cyclone Kenneth reached 30 on Monday, CNN reported.
Kenneth is the strongest storm ever recorded in the region, CNN added. The storm made landfall last Thursday. Among the hardest-hit areas was the city of Pemba, where on Sunday rivers overflowed and roads were washed away.
Humanitarian Aid Access to Hardest-Hit Areas Is ‘Virtually Impossible’
"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," Nicolas Finney, the Save the Children's response team leader in Mozambique, told CNN.
Forecasters predict that northern Mozambique could see up to 500 millimeters (20 inches) over the next five days, exacerbating the flooding.
Kenneth might dump twice as much rain as Idai did, according to a Voice of America News report. “Nearly 700,000 people could be at risk in the largely rural region, many left exposed and hungry as waters rise,” VOA added.
“Despite its power, Cyclone Kenneth is slow-moving, leading experts to fear it could continue to dump torrential rains on an area still reeling from the devastation wrought by Cyclone Idai,” CNN said.
"The soil is saturated with rain and the rivers are already swollen, so the emergency is likely to get worse," Michel Le Pechoux, UNICEF's deputy representative in Mozambique, stated to CNN. "We're doing everything we can to get teams and supplies on the ground to keep people safe,” he added.
‘Grave Fears’ for Thousands Taking Shelter from Cyclone under Wreckage of Their Homes
Finney said, "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."
Cyclone Idai killed an estimated 750 people in Mozambique and two neighboring African countries in early April. That storm forced thousands of residents out of their homes and into makeshift camps. Damages were estimated at $1 billion.