Tropical Cyclone Kenneth roared ashore Thursday, becoming the first Category 4 storm in the last 60 years to make landfall over Mozambique’s northeastern Cabo Delgado province. The day-night band of NOAA-20’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor captured this view of the historic storm at 6:10 p.m. ET, several hours after it made landfall.
“This is the first time in recorded history that two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season, with Tropical Cyclone Kenneth following on the heels of Tropical Cyclone Idai, which made landfall on 14 March, leaving more than 600 people dead and an estimated 1.85 million people in need in Mozambique alone,” according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Kenneth made landfall near Pemba around 4 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) on Thursday afternoon, packing winds of 140 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Prior to landfall, the Mozambican government and Red Cross volunteers evacuated some 30,000 people in communities “where the concern of flooding, erosion and landslides was particularly high,” OCHA noted.
On Wednesday, the powerful storm passed through Comoros, killing three people and injuring at least 20 others before taking aim at Mozambique’s coast. In Comoros, OCHA reports that the storm downed trees and powerlines, flooded streets and displaced at least 1,000 people.
Officials are still evaluating the extent of the damage Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi incurred as a result of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth.