Comoros and Mozambique – Tropical Cyclone Kenneth Makes Landfall

Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall between the districts of Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia, in Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique, on the evening of 25 April, 2019. The Cyclone is forecast to bring heavy rains of up to 750mm between 24 and 30 April.

Cyclone Kenneth comes only weeks after Cyclone Idai devastated parts of central Mozambique, killing over 600 people and causing widespread destruction. This is the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season.

Prior to making landfall in Mozambique the cyclone passed through the Comoros, reportedly causing three deaths and displacing around 1,000 people.

Image: Tropical Cyclone Kenneth nearing landfall in Mozambique, 25 April 2019. Credit: Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview


Tropical Cyclone Kenneth passed through the Comoros on 24 April, 2019, hitting the northern Ngazidja Island, bringing strong winds, torrential rain and storm surge.

Three deaths have been reported, along with at least 20 injuries and extensive damage to houses. Preliminary estimates indicate that at least 1,000 people were displaced.

According to a UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report of 25 April, 2019, initial reports from the Comoros indicate that several villages were flooded due to sea surges and broken dykes, and that power was cut in multiple locations. Roads have reportedly been damaged and cut off by fallen trees, while telephone poles are down in multiple locations.

WMO figures show that 207mm of rain fell at Moroni in 24 hours to 25 April, 2019.


Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made landfall between the districts of Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia. During the evening of 25 April, 2019.

The UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, said in a statement:

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Kenneth which first hit the Union of Comoros two days ago before making landfall as a category 4 storm last night in the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique on the border with Tanzania. With maximum sustained wind speed of 225 km/hour and gusts that reached 270km/hour, the storm ripped roofs off of homes and continues to generate heavy rainfall resulting in massive flooding as it moves across Mozambique.”

As much as 750mm of rain is forecast to fall between 24 and 30 April. OCHA said that there is a high risk of flash flooding and landslides. “As the storm comes at the end of the rainy season, river levels are already high, and several rivers are projected to increase beyond the severe alert threshold after landfall, with peak flows most likely to occur on 29 April in the region around Pemba (Mozambique).”

Neighbouring countries are also likely to be affected. OCHA added, “Southern Tanzania and eastern Malawi are also expected to receive rains caused by the weather system. In Tanzania, an increase in cloud formation is already being witnessed, and an increase of rain is expected in Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Pemba, Lindi and Mtwara regions, the south coast of Tanzania and around Lake Victoria.”

“Cyclone Kenneth may require a major new humanitarian operation at the same time that the ongoing Cyclone Idai response targeting 3 million people in three countries remains critically underfunded. The families whose lives have been turned upside down by these climate-related disasters urgently need the generosity of the international community to survive over the coming months” Mark Lowcock added.