Tanzania escapes cyclone Kenneth as one killed in Mozambique

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Business activities on Friday resumed in Mtwara and Lindi, Tanzania, after reports that tropical Cyclone Kenneth had changed direction.

Weather forecasters had spotted Kenneth advancing towards the coast of southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique.

As such, authorities in Tanzania had ordered schools and businesses shut in some southern regions and urged people to brace for extreme winds and rain.

The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) had said the cyclone would hit the two areas so residents prepared, with some leaving their homes.

Businesses had come to a standstill but on Friday, owners were directed to return after reports of the cyclone’s change of direction.

Mtwara trader Aneth Kisika told The Citizen that business had normalised and that the people were no longer panicking.

“I’m doing my business as usual … there was great fear here,” Ms Kisika said.

She added that residents who had sought refuge with relatives and friends had also returned to their homes.

Mr Arnold Kinaia, another resident of Mtwara, said, “The area is now calm. No wind, no rain. Residents returned to their activities as if nothing had happened.”

He said people who had taken precautions such as saving food and water, and moved to other locations, had returned and carried on with their lives.

But other residents, such as fishmonger Kinaia, said activities were yet to resume as they were awaiting reports from TMA.

Meanwhile, reports from Maputo say a powerful cyclone smashed into northern Mozambique, leaving one person dead on Friday, barely a month after a super-storm slammed into the country’s centre, devastating the area and leaving hundreds dead.

Category three Cyclone Kenneth, packing winds of 160 kilometres an hour, struck the north coast’s Cabo Delgado province late Thursday after swiping the Comoros islands.

The United Nations warned of flash flooding and landslides as Mozambique’s emergency situation institute (INGC) reported one person was killed by a falling coconut tree at Pemba in Cabo Delgado.

On the tourist island of Ibo, 90 per cent of homes for the 6,000 population had been flattened, said a spokesman for the institute, Antonio Beleza.

“I don’t expect to find my hotel undamaged,” said Swiss hotel owner Lucie Amr, who took refuge in the Ibo fort alongside many local residents.

Additional reporting by AFP

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