Aid groups scrambled Saturday to assess the damage in northern Mozambique as heavy rains fueled fears of flooding and mudslides two days after the second cyclone hit the southern African country within six weeks.
Cyclone Kenneth made landfall Thursday, with sustained winds of 220 kilometers per hour, prompting aid group warnings of massive flooding and mudslides that could put nearly 700,000 people in southern Africa at risk.
Emergency workers arrived Saturday morning in Pemba, a port town and the capital of the country’s Cabo Delgado Province, to assess the damage. Authorities said almost 3,500 homes in the most northern part of the province were damaged or destroyed.
After an assessment was done in the province’s Macomia district, Daw Mohamed of the global humanitarian aid group CARE said, “The entire area is a scene of vast destruction,” and that people were in need of food, water and shelter.
In addition to heavy damage in the Macomia community, aid groups said the communities of Quissanga and Mocimboa da Praia were also of great concern.
Aid agencies said they continued to struggle to reach victims amid the heavy downpours and that rescuers were hindered by damaged infrastructure, poor communications and the lack of transportation.