The Mozambican government urged many people to seek higher areas on Saturday after Hurricane Kenneth, as they were afraid of floods and mudslides in the coming days.
At least five people were killed, the government said. Mozambique's civil protection agency said one person died in Pemba town and another in the hard-hit Macomia neighborhood, while Ibo Island residents said two people died there. Details of the fifth death were not immediately available.
Nearly 3,500 homes in parts of the country's northernmost province, Cabo Delgado, have been partially or completely destroyed, electricity has been cut, some roads blocked and at least one collapsed key bridge. Some schools and health centers were damaged. Nearly 700,000 people could be at risk as many people are exposed and hungry while the water is rising.
"There is a very intense destructive strip where the wind first appeared in coastal areas," said Nicholas Finney, a response team leader at the Save the Children relief group, said after a visit to Macomia. The team found people in a region in shock that had never seen a cyclone in modern times. Terrified children and traumatized parents faced a huge task to rebuild, he said.
Rain was predicted for the next few days, and Mozambique's meteorological authority said the storm could possibly go to sea again and strengthen again, Finney added. "It does not look good, to be honest," he said about the risk of flooding.
As water levels rose, the Mozambican authorities asked residents of the districts of Mecufi and Chiure, as well as parts of the Macomia and Muidumbe districts, to seek higher elevations. Some rivers in the region have shattered their banks in the past, especially in 2000.
Cyclone Kenneth arrived late Thursday, just six weeks after the cyclone had torn Idai in central Mozambique and killed more than 600 people. This was the first time in recorded history that the South African nation was hit by two cyclones in one season, highlighting concerns about climate change.
The remains of Kenneth, who had seized the power of a Category 4 hurricane, were able to cool off, according to UN World Program, twice as much rain fell as Idai last month.
Some predictions warned that the torrential rain would be 250mm (9 inches) or about a quarter of the region's average annual rainfall. [19659002DieInternationaleFöderationderRotkreuz-undRothalbmondgesellschaftenmeldeteschwereSchädeninderProvinzCaboDelgadoanwobeidieGemeindenMacomiaQuissangaundMocímboadaPraiavonhöchsterBesorgniswarendieSchädeneinschätzenvoralleminweiterentferntenGemeindeninderweitgehendländlichenRegion
"The situation was not worse because the local authorities have drawn attention to the educational work," the catastrophe of Mozambique said a management agency, while they posted photos of buildings where metal roofs were crumpled or torn were. Other photos of Macomia showed a dilapidated house with mud walls, a bus that seemed to have slipped off the road, and an electric pole.
Homeless people tried to assemble shelters from the rain.
"I'm looking for someone to lend me a porch so I can clean my apartment and stay with my family," said Macomia's Wild Eusebio of the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
Another family of 13 people, including eight children, lived in an improvised plastic tent, the report says.