As Kenneth passed to the north of Comoros, which has a population of around one million people, it was packing sustained winds of around 140km per hour with significantly higher gusts. This makes it equivalent to a category-1 Atlantic hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Tropical cyclones in this region are rare as they do not tend to form within 10 degrees of the equator because the Coriolis force is not strong enough. The Comoros islands are between 11 and 13 degrees south in latitude and have only had three damaging cyclones since 1983. Thus, it is the strongest storm on record to hit the islands. The powerful storm is rapidly strengthening as it approaches northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania. This will be the first time in history that two storms of category-2 strength or higher have hit Mozambique in the same season. Rising waters will be a big concern but it is hoped that as the strongest winds and storm surge get pushed towards the south of the storm, the worst of Kenneth’s landfall impacts may end up in the sparsely populated Quirimbas National Park region, including the Quirimbas Archipelago.
SOURCES: AL JAZEERA