Panafrican News Agency

Residents in Tanzania’s coastal towns relocate to safer places as Cyclone Kenneth approaches

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) – As tropical storm cyclone Kenneth advances towards Tanzania’s southern coastal regions of Mtwara and Lindi, residents Thursday began relocating to seemingly safer places, official sources told PANA here.

Residents started moving in the morning following reports by the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) on Wednesday that Cyclone Kenneth might hit some parts of southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique later on Thursday.

Reports from Mtwara, about 560 km from Dar es Salaam, said residents started moving from the town centre to Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) barracks and Mtwara airport area early on Thursday morning.

According to the TMA, the storm, travelling at a rotational speed of 160 km per hour, was spotted in north western parts of Madagascar, about 600 km from the Tanzanian coast.

An American media company, Accu Weather, which provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide, had earlier this week said a new cyclone was likely to hit Mtwara and Lindi regions in Tanzania and Pemba in Mozambique this week.

Accu Weather said the amount of rainfall could result in devastating flooding and lead to homes being engulfed by floodwaters.

In another development, marine transport activities to and from Zanzibar have been suspended as cyclone Kenneth approaches Tanzania’s coastline.

Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA) deputy director Ramadhan Hussein was quoted in local social media on Thursday as saying that they had suspended marine transport until further notice to minimize any possible loss of life and property.

At the same time, the TMA has advised people in coastal areas to avoid walking or standing in open spaces during the downpour to avoid possible lightning, as the cyclone would come with strong winds, heavy rains and lightning.

"Standing in open areas is risky because lightning always strikes tall objects. Without poles or trees, the lightning will hit you because you will be taller than any other object around,” TMA meteorologist told journalists.


-0-    PANA    EBM/RA    25Apr2019