Tropical Cyclone Kenneth passed north of Comoros and 200 km (124 mi) from Mayotte on Wednesday April 24, bringing heavy rain, strong winds, and a high storm surge. As of Thursday, April 25, a weather alert for storm and swell surges remains in place on both islands, with schools remaining closed and air and sea traffic being suspended until at least April 26. Several damages to buildings, roads, and infrastructure have been reported, leading to power cuts in some areas. No casualties have been reported.
The storm is forecast to continue to strengthen to a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane-equivalent before it makes landfall in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique late Thursday, April 25. As of Thursday morning (local time), the storm is producing sustained winds of 213 kph (132 mph) and waves of 7.5 m (25 ft). A storm surge of up to 4 m (13 ft) is expected along coastlines to the south of the storm's center including rainfall of 20-30 cm (8-12 in). Localized totals up to 50 cm (20 in) are possible from Thursday through Sunday. The storm could also affect Tanzania, which prompted Tanzanian authorities to order on Thursday, the closure of schools and businesses in the southern Mtwara region until further notice.
Wind damage, heavy rain, storm surges, and associated coastal and flash flooding is expected, along with related disruptions to power, telecommunication, and transportation in the coming days.
Mozambique is still recovering from a catastrophic cyclone that hit the center of the country in March that killed over 1000 people and affected 3 million people in total across the region.
Individuals in the abovementioned areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate telecommunication and power outages and transportation disruptions, including road closures and flight cancelations, ensure adequate food and medical supplies, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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