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Blackout hits Tanzania as Cyclone Hidaya makes landfall, Kenya braces itself

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki issued an update suspending beach activities along with several directives

A tropical cyclone

Kenya is bracing for Cyclone Hidaya to make landfall with the government announcing several measures to mitigate possible loss of life and property from its effects.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki announced a total ban on beach activities on Saturday, May 4 as the country braced for Cyclone Hidaya that has already made landfall in neighbouring Tanzania and expected to make landfall anytime from now in Kenya.

He further directed security agencies to see to it that activities such as fishing, swimming and non-essential transport within Kenya’s territorial waters are halted immediately until the situation is assessed and the directive reversed.

"The County Security and Intelligence Committees (CSICs) of Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu Counties in collaboration with the Kenya Coast Guard Service(KCGS) are directed to immediately issue notices and to strictly enforce a ban on beach activities," Kindiki noted in his statement.

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Settlements deemed too close to the shoreline are to be vacated by Saturday, May 4, at 5pm with the shoreline remaining out of bounds until midnight, Monday, May 6.

Cyclone Hidaya is expected to expire by then.

"As a precautionary measure, activities within Kenya’s territorial waters, along the beaches and within settlements adjacent to the shoreline will have to be disrupted for public safety reasons," added the CS.

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Kenya Met is closely monitoring the cyclone and confirmed it has made landfall in Tanzania.

"Current observations indicate that Tropical Cyclone Hidaya has made landfall on the coast of Tanzania. However, there is another depression developing behind it, which the Department is monitoring closely," Kenya Met said.

In neighbouring Tanzania, the cyclone made landfall on Saturday with the country witnessing heavy rains and strong winds.

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A major blackout was also reported with most of the country affected with strong winds lashing at a speed of120 kph.

Ferry services between Tanzania's commercial hub, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar were suspended with authorities warning residents to exercise caution as the intensity of the cyclone increases.

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