In Summary
  • The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) said Tanzania and Mozambique are facing threats of tropical storm Kenneth forecasted to land fall at the coast of the Indian Ocean on Thursday, night and end on Friday afternoon.

Mtwara/Dar es Salaam. Mtwara Regional Commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa yesterday directed that schools and workplaces remain closed today as the regional braces for the landfall of tropical storm Kenneth.

Mr Byakanwa said the decision was aimed at ensuring the safety of the region’s residents.

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Meanwhile, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) said the storm would make landfall in Tanzania and Mozambique tonight

The agency told journalists yesterday that the storm had been spotted north western parts of Madagascar, which is about 600 kilometres from the coast of Tanzania’s Mtwara Region and was travelling in a rotation at 160 kilometres per hour.

Earlier this week, AccuWeather - an American media company that provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide, said in its forecast that a new cyclone is likely to hit Lindi and Mtwara regions of Tanzania and Pemba in Mozambique this week.

The amount of rainfall expected, AccuWeather said, can result in life-threatening flooding and lead to homes being inundated by floodwaters.

“If this depression becomes the next organised tropical cyclone in the South-West Indian Ocean, it would be given the name Kenneth,” said AccuWeather.

During the press in the city yesterday, TMA acting director general Pascal Waniha said in the afternoon, storm Kenneth is expected to be 450 kilometers from Mtwara travelling at a wind speed of 130 kilometres per hour. “During the night, tropical storm Kenneth is expected to be 250 kilometers from Mtwara, travelling at an estimated speed of 150 kilometres per hour,” Dr Wahina said.

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According to him, on Thursday afternoon, tropical storm Kenneth will be 150 kilometers from Mtwara and will be travelling at an estimated rotating speed of 170 kilometres per hour.

“Tomorrow night, it is forecast to land fall the coast of Mozambique, about 200 kilometres from Mtwara travelling at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour. However, Tanzania can feel the impact because 200 kilometres is not a big distance,” he said.

He said Kenneth will move some 290 kilometers from Mtwara on Friday, April 26, this year with its speed reduced to 80 kilometers per hour.

Dr Waniha said Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma are regions projected to be affected including areas covering up to 500 kilometres from the coast.

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Additional reporting by Herieth Makwetta