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Stronger winds felt in Mombasa as Cyclone Hidaya lands on Tanzanian coast

Several areas along Coast City experienced cloudy skies and strong winds just days after the Kenya Meteorological Department warned that the effects of Cyclone Hidaya were expected to be felt in Kenya’s coast region and Tanzania.

Strong winds and dark clouds made for a chilly experience along the beaches as a disaster response team coordinated by the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) positioned itself in strategic areas in case of an emergency.

On Friday, the Kenya Met Department warned: “The coastal area is expected to experience the effects of Cyclone #Hidaya, with powerful winds surpassing 40 knots and significant ocean waves over 2 meters high.”

On Saturday morning, the agency said: “The effects of the cyclone are already being felt offshore, with strong winds exceeding 40 knots (20.6 m/s) and large waves surpassing two meters. @meteokenya will continue monitoring the situation and issue updates as necessary.”

In a spot check, coastal residents obeyed the order banning beach activities including swimming and all other water sports due to the tropical storm with Kenya Coast Guard, Kenya Police and Kenya Wildlife officers seen patrolling the beaches.

Mitigate any maritime accidents

KMA Director of Marine Safety Eng Julius Koech said the authority is coordinating various government and non-government teams to mitigate any maritime accidents from the effects of the cyclone.

Mr Koech said the KMA had already issued an advisory banning all marine activities for the next few days as it monitors the situation.

“We have asked hoteliers, fishermen and all those living along the coast to be vigilant and suspend all marine activities. The KMA is coordinating a number of agencies to ensure that safety is maintained and accidents are averted,” said Mr Koech.

In the advisory, KMA has advised all seafarers, fishermen, speedboat operators, recreational craft, passengers and the general public to keep abreast of weather forecasts and tidal bulletins and to exercise extra caution.

The KMA has coordinated groups from Vanga in Kwale County to Kiunga in Lamu, providing basic water safety information and guidelines to help save lives in the event of an emergency.

On Friday, President William Ruto warned during his State of the Nation address that “Kenya may be facing its first-ever cyclone”.