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Tropical Cyclone Kenneth spins toward the coast of Mozambique. Image: NOAA

Powerful Cyclone Kenneth struck Mozambique on Thursday as one of the strongest storms ever to hit the nation, which is still recovering from the widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in March.

Details: The storm — which quickly intensified during the course of the last 24 hours but weakened slightly as it neared landfall about 600 miles north of Beira, where Idai struck — made landfall as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds at about 140 miles per hour, according to satellite estimates. This may qualify as the strongest-ever cyclone to hit Mozambique, and is the strongest-ever to hit the northern part of the country. It's also one of the strongest storms ever to hit the African mainland.

The cyclone likely caused a 10-to-16-foot storm surge where it came ashore north of the city of Pemba, which has a population of about 200,000. The storm is forecast to dump several feet of rain inland across northeastern Mozambique and southern Tanzania.

Background: More than 1,000 people died as a result of Cyclone Idai, according to Reuters. The storm also impacted Zimbabwe and Malawi. Rebuilding may cost more than $2 billion, according to an estimate from the World Bank.

  • Cyclone Kenneth means that 2 of Mozambique's top 5 tropical cyclones on record have struck within just 6 weeks of each other.

Cyclone Kenneth underwent a period of rapid intensification between Wednesday and Thursday, leaping from a Category 1 to Category 4 storm in 24 hours. This was possible since the storm sat over warm waters with light winds in the upper atmosphere.

  • Studies have shown that rapid intensification of tropical cyclones is becoming more frequent due to global climate change.

Go deeper: Idai may be "one of the deadliest" weather disasters in Southern Hemisphere

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."