Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique on Tuesday, 23 April 2019, marking the strongest storm to hit the region on record. As of 29 April, 38 people have been killed in Mozambique in addition to four people who died on the island nation of Comoros as the storm churned across the Indian Ocean.The slow moving storm brought torrential rains across the eastern coast of the country, parts of which were still dealing with the after affects of Cyclone Idai that caused widespread flooding and damage in mid-March. Kenneth caused heavy damage in local capitals, such as Pemba where roads and buildings were damaged and flood waters reached knee-high depths. Sentinel-1 images from 28 April 2019 show flooding across most major rivers in the region.
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Cyclone Idai was one of the worst cyclones to ever occur in the southern hemisphere, and has claimed approximately 850 lives across Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The cyclone made landfall on March 15th, 2019 near Beira Mozambique, and proceeded to drop 200-600 millimeters of rain across the region. Sustained winds reached 195 km/hr and wind gusts peaked near 280 km/hr. In total, over three million people were affected, with some cities and towns facing complete destruction.
Leading up to Cyclone Idai, a tropical depression caused flooding in northern Mozambique and Malawi, and the local World Food Programme (WFP) office requested that Cloud to Street provide flood maps for the event. Once Idai made landfall and its magnitude realized, many institutions were producing flood maps from the Sentinel-1 satellite due to its ability to take images through clouds. These data gave greater overviews of larger flood patterns, but struggled to provide street-level information or urban flood maps. Through our partnership with Planet, we were able to acquire high-resolution imagery that allowed us to located flooding and damaged buildings that were not captured in any other available map.