April 24 (UPI) -- The African nation of Mozambique on Tuesday braced for the arrival of another storm while still reeling from the effects of Cyclone Idai.
NASA meteorologists forecast that Tropical Cyclone Kenneth is expected to move toward the border of Mozambique and Tanzania and make landfall in northern Mozambique as early as Thursday.
"Residents along Mozambique/Tanzania border should make preparations for storm surge along the coasts, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds," NASA said.
The storm underwent additional strengthening on Wednesday and was rated a tropical cyclone by the French national meteorological service, indicating it has winds of 74 mph to 98 mph or equal to the strength of a Category 1 to 3 hurricane.
Additional strengthening is possible as Kenneth approaches Mozambique on Thursday and rain may reach coastal locations by the end of the day Wednesday.
A storm surge of between 6.5 feet and 13 feet may occur near the south of where the storm is expected to make landfall, likely to cause life-threatening flooding.
Areas between Lindi, Tanzania, and Pemba, Mozambique, will be at risk for rainfall, flooding, mudslides and powerful winds.
Marc Nosbach, county director for CARE Mozambique said up to 70,000 people may be at risk if the storm makes landfall as forecasted.
"Rivers within this region of Mozambique may flood, especially as at least one of the dams is already close to full capacity, preventing flood water from being retained," he said. "This will make it almost impossible to distribute aid as roads will become impassable."
The area is still recovering from the effects of Cyclone Idai, which killed more than 700 people and affected as many as 1.5 million people throughout Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last month.