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Comoros Struggles to Restore Power After Africa Cyclone

May 1, 2019
Comoros and Mozambique face blackout following Cyclone Kenneth.

(Bloomberg) The death toll from tropical cyclone Kenneth increased to 42 as the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros struggles to restore power supplies and torrential rains cause flooding in Mozambique.

At least 182 people were injured by the hurricane-strength storm that swept across the two nations last week, the United Nations humanitarian office said in an emailed statement. Four people died in Comoros, it said, while Mozambique’s disaster agency said the death toll in its country stood at 38.

Kenneth was the second cyclone to hit Mozambique in two months, after a storm in March left more than 1,000 people dead in the southern African nation, along with neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Most of Comoros’ inhabitants have been without power since the latest cyclone damaged the country’s electricity grid last week, “leaving the majority of people without power and impacting access to health-care,” the UN said.

About 63% of the nation’s food crops have been wiped out, while there’s also been a “significant” loss of livestock, the agency said.

The authorities in Comoros reconnected about 70% of consumers in the capital, Moroni, while there is a blackout in the rest of Grande Comore island and workers will need at least another week to restore supplies, Fayssoil Moussa, spokesman for the state power company Sonelec, said in a phone interview. On Anjouan, the second-biggest island, only the capital Mutsamadu has power, he said.

Damage in Mozambique includes the destruction of at least 35,100 houses, the UN said.

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