The Mozambique Government called on many people to seek higher ground on Saturday in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth, who fears flooding and mud in the days to come, as there was heavy rainfall in the region.
At least five people were killed, the government said. Mozambique's Disaster Management Agency said one person was dead in Pemba City and another in the severely hit Macomia district, while residents of Ibo Island said two people had died there. Details of the fifth death were not immediately available.
Almost 3,500 homes in parts of the country's northernmost Cabo Delgado province were partially or completely destroyed, with electricity cut, some roads blocked and at least one broken key bridge. Some schools and health centers were damaged. Nearly 700,000 people could be in danger, as many people have been exposed and hungry as the water rises.
"There is a very intense strip of destruction, where the wind first influenced the coastal areas," replied Nicholas Finney, head of the Save the Children Help Group, after visiting the Macomia district. The team found people in shock in a region where a cyclone had never been recorded in modern times. Frightened children and traumatized parents face a huge task of starting to rebuild, he said.
The rain has been predicted the next few days, and Mozambique's meteorological authority said the storm could come back to the sea and intensify again, Finney added. "It doesn't look good, frankly," he said about the risk of flooding.
As water levels rose, Mozambican authorities asked residents of Mecufi and Chiure districts and parts of Macomia and Muidumbe districts to seek higher ground. Some rivers in the region have burst their banks earlier, especially in 2000.
Cyclone Kenneth arrived late on Thursday, only six weeks after Cyclone Idai torn into central Mozambique and killed more than 600 people. This was the first time in recorded history that the South African nation has been hit by two cyclones in one season and highlights climate change concerns.
The remains of Kenneth, who packed the power of a Category 4 hurricane, could dump twice as much rain as Idai did last month, the UN World Program said.
Some forecasts warned up to 250mm (9in) of heavy rain or about a quarter of the average annual rainfall for the region.  The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported serious damage to the Cabo Delgado province, where Macomia, Quissanga and Mocímboa da Praia were of major concern.
Communication remained difficult in some areas as authorities and help groups scrambled to assess the damage, especially in more remote communities in virtually rural areas.
"The situation was no worse thanks to local government awareness raising", Mozambique's disaster management agency said while posting pictures of buildings where metal roof had been curled or torn away. Other pictures from Macomia showed a mud wall home that had turned up, a bus that seemed to have worn out of the way and a wrapped electric pole.
People who were homeless tried to patch houses from the rain.
"I'm looking for someone to lend me a porch so I can clean up and stay with my family," said a Macomia resident, Wild Eusebio, to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
Another family of 13 people, including eight children, lived in an improvised plastic tent, the report said.