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Cyclone Highlights Mozambique LNG-Disruption Risk: Storm Update

Borges Nhamire and Brian K. Sullivan

(Bloomberg) -- Tropical Cyclone Kenneth dumped heavy rains on Mozambique, a day after becoming the second storm to hit the nation in two months.

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall between 4 and 5 p.m. local time on Thursday, when the eye passed between the districts of Macomia and Mocimboa da Praia, the National Institute of Meteorology said. The storm is heading west toward Malawi, where the authorities, along with neighboring Zimbabwe and Tanzania, have warned of possible flooding.

Key Developments

Cyclone Kenneth is the first hurricane-strength storm ever recorded in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, according to forecaster AccuWeather Inc.Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which is developing a multibillion gas project off Mozambique’s coast, suspended air traffic into and out of the project site.Mozambique’s weather office forecast the storm may dump more than 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain on the north of the country within 24 hours of its arrival.

Cyclones Pose LNG Supply-Chain Risk

Intense cyclones battering Mozambique highlight the exposure of Liquefied Natural Gas companies to supply chain disruptions in a country that’s poorly equipped to deal with natural disasters, U.K.-based research firm Verisk Maplecroft said in a note.

Mozambique ranks as the 11th highest risk globally on the Natural Hazards Vulnerability Index, which measures a nation’s capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from the impact of events such as powerful storms, it said.

At Least Three People Killed in Comoros

The storm passed over the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros earlier on Thursday, uprooting trees, destroying dozens of houses and forcing hundreds of people to seek shelter.

At least three people died, President Azali Assoumani said at a briefing in the capital, Moroni, where he appealed to donors for immediate humanitarian aid.

Corn and Cotton Harvests at Risk

Kenneth’s arrival comes just as crops including cotton, maize, soybeans and millet are about ready to be harvested, so the storm could have a devastating impact on Mozambique’s agriculture, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

“That is a big agricultural area and it is coming in at a bad time,” Watson said. “The problem is it is coming on the heels of Idai, so the additional impacts on the economy are not going to be great.”

Further Reading

As Climate Change Fuels Storms, Time to Leave Coasts?: QuickTakeSouthern Africa Cyclone Damage Cost Seen Topping $2 BillionCyclone Survivors in Zimbabwe Burn Church Pews to Keep Warm

--With assistance from Rudy Ruitenberg, Paul Burkhardt and Thomas Hall.

To contact the reporters on this story: Borges Nhamire in Maputo at bnhamire@bloomberg.net;Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net, Paul Richardson, John Bowker

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