Wed, 22 May 2019

A new tropical cyclone forming in the Indian Ocean looks set to strike the Comoros, Mozambique and Tanzania this week, just over a month after Cyclone Idai devastated parts of southeastern Africa.

The storm, which the French meteorological agency calls Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, was about 200 kilometers north of Madagascar Tuesday and heading toward the Comoros islands.

The U.S. Department of Defenses Joint Typhoon Warning Center says by late today the tropical storm will have sustained winds of about 90 kilometers per hour, and gusts of up to 120 kilometers per hour.

Both the U.S. and French warning centers forecast that the storm will pass over the Comoros tomorrow, with gusts nearing 150 kilometers per hour. By late Thursday it will be on the coast near the border of Mozambique and Tanzania, with gusts of wind topping 200 kilometers an hour.

After it makes landfall, the storm is expected to weaken into a tropical depression on Friday, with wind speeds dropping below 75 kilometers an hour.

Communities in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe are still rebuilding from the destruction left by Cyclone Idai in mid-March. More than 1,000 people died in the storm and the flooding that followed it.

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