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Tanzania says cyclone no longer a threat

Tanzania says cyclone no longer a threat
5 May 2024 12:06

Dar es Salaam (AFP)

Tanzania said a cyclone that made landfall on Saturday has lost its strength and was no longer a threat to the country.

Tropical Cyclone Hidaya had triggered heavy rains and winds as it rolled towards Tanzania and neighbouring Kenya, countries already battered by torrential downpours and floods that have left more than 400 people dead across East Africa in recent weeks.

In a statement published early Sunday on X, the Tanzania Meteorological Authority said that Hidaya had "completely lost its strength" after making landfall on Mafia Island in the Indian Ocean on Saturday.

"Therefore, there is no further threat of Tropical Cyclone 'Hidaya' in our country," it added.

Beaches on the Indian Ocean coast were deserted, shops were closed and marine transport suspended in the Zanzibar archipelago as the country braced for the cyclone.

As it approached, the storm had caused much heavier rainfall than normal in coastal areas but no casualties or damage were reported.

At least 155 people have died in Tanzania as heavier-than-usual torrential rains linked to the El Nino weather pattern triggered floods and landslides last month.

In neighbouring Kenya, which had also taken precautions for the cyclone, a total of 210 people have been killed in flood-related incidents.

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