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  1. ITV Report

Cyclone Kenneth death toll rises as scenes of 'total devastation' block aid for thousands

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent John Ray

The death toll from Cyclone Kenneth in northern Mozambique is continuing to rise and the lives of thousands are at risk, aid workers have warned.

The storm, which hit on Thursday with winds of 140mph (220km/h), has led to widespread flooding, flattened villages and damaged homes.

The cyclone has now killed 38 people and the heavy rain and high water in the aftermath have led to flights being grounded which has hampered efforts to deliver help and food packages.

Locals and rescuers at a site where two houses were crushed by a massive dumpsite that hit when rains poured in Pemba city, Mozambique. Credit: AP

Rescuers have described scenes of ''total devastation'' and predicted almost 160,000 people are affected, with many left exposed and hungry as waters rise.

More than 35,000 buildings and homes had been partly or fully destroyed, the government said.

Locals and rescuers gather around a site where two houses were crushed by the collapse of a massive rubbish dump during the rains. Credit: AP

Kenneth is the second cyclone to hit the southern Africa nation in just six weeks, coming soon after the devastating Cyclone Idai which left more than 600 people dead.

It was the first time in recorded history that two cyclones had targeted Mozambique in a single season.

The rising waters have made many roads impassable and hindered air efforts to reach communities outside the region's main city, Pemba.

The heavy rains in Pemba have also caused deadly mudslides.

Residents of one poor neighborhood dug for bodies on Monday after two houses were crushed by the collapse of a sprawling dumpsite overnight, resident Manuel Joachim said.

A woman's body had been found, he said and later, the searchers discovered two hands protruding from the mud and debris.

They tied a rope to one of the hands to try and pull out the body, but the rain started pouring again.

Five people in all were thought to be buried there, Mr Joachim said.

A woman shows one of her feet after walking in the mud near a site where two houses were crushed by the collapse of a massive, sprawling dumpsite that hit just after midnight when rains poured in Pemba city on the northeastern coast of Mozambique. Credit: AP

Authorities are preparing for a possible cholera outbreak as some wells have been found to be contaminated and safe drinking water is a growing concern.

Government officials now fear that just as most of the more than 600 deaths from last month's Cyclone Idai were caused by flooding in the days that followed, heavy rains in the wake of Kenneth have raised fears of a similar scenario.

The storm made landfall on Thursday with the force of a Category 4 hurricane.

Brazilian Rescuers are seen at a site where two houses were crushed by the collapse of a massive, sprawling dumpsite that hit just after midnight when rains poured in Pemba city on the northeastern coast of Mozambique. Credit: AP

Flooding was "critical" in parts of the country's northernmost province of Cabo Delgado including Ibo island and the districts of Macomia and Quissanga.

More than 35,000 buildings and homes had been partly or fully destroyed, the government said.

However In other parts of Pemba, some have tried to return to a semblance of daily life amid the destruction.

At a school, children in blue uniforms trooped into classes.

Traders put their wares on street pavements and wooden tables while others were busy removing rubble from homes and yards.