Another cyclone makes landfall in Mozambique and brings the threat of more flooding to a struggling region. Japan’s emperor becomes the nation’s first royal in 200 years to abdicate his throne. And drones are tested out as a means of transferring organs to patients in need.
CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: On this last day of April, we thank you for taking 10 for CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz, at the CNN Center. Our first story, in a part of Africa that`s still reeling from a cyclone that made landfall in March, government officials are now getting an idea of the destruction by a second major storm.
This one was named Cyclone Kenneth. It hit Mozambique late last week. At that time, its wind speeds were 140 miles per hour. That`s the equivalent of a category four hurricane, out of five, but Kenneth was the most powerful storm ever to hit Mozambique. The nation`s government says almost 3,400 homes have been destroyed, and more than 18,000 people are displaced.
At least 38 people died. One uniquely destructive thing about Cyclone Kenneth, it`s slow. When a hurricane or a cyclone doesn`t pass over an area quickly, it can drop even more rain than it normally would, and that can make flooding even worse. Over the course of this week, forecasters expect up to 20 inches of more rain.
Save the Children, an international aid group, says survivors in areas of heavy damage need food, water and shelter urgently. But workers haven`t been able to get to some areas, because rivers have flooded and covered roads. Cyclone Kenneth killed four people on the island nation of Comoros, which is about 100 miles east off the coast of Mozambique.
The Mozambique and island of Ibo looks like it took a direct hit. Mozambique is not a wealthy country. More than 46 percent of its population is estimated to live in poverty, and natural disasters like this are part of the reason.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two major cyclones hit Mozambique in just a matter of weeks. It`s unprecedented. And of course, as the country tries to recover from the devastation of Cyclone Idai, another stronger storm hits the northern parts of Mozambique. Cyclone Kenneth hits the country in the early hours of Friday, and Mozambicans woke up to strong winds and heavy rainfall.
But two major cities that are very densely-populated in the northern parts of Mozambique were not as severely impacted. The eyewitness accounts and, of course, business that we spoke to say that it wasn`t as bad as they feared and it`s basically business of usual. But it`s 80 kilometers north of Pemba where the catastrophe did occur on the Island of Ibo.
According to a resort manager there, 90 percent of the homes were totally destroyed on the island. And it seems that that is where the eye of the storm passed through. Now, remember that this part of Mozambique isn`t as densely-populated as the rest of the country. It`s also very remote.
We`re talking about villages that are not easily accessible.
AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these countries borders the Sea of Lkhostsk: China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine or Japan? This body of water is surrounded mostly by Russia, but is also bordered by Northern Japan.
Emperor Akihito was the first Japanese royal to marry a commoner. He was the first Japanese emperor to visit China, Thailand and the Philippines.
And today, he becomes Japan`s first royal in 200 years to advocate to give up his throne. The role of emperor is symbolic in Japan. The decision-making power lies in the hands of its elected politicians.
But as that symbol of national unity, Emperor Akihito has been popular, and many Japanese are sad to see him step down. In a rare televised address in 2016, the emperor said he was worried that his age and fitness level would make it harder for him to carry out his duties as he had until then.
The next year, Japan`s parliament passed the law that allowed him to advocate if he wanted to. And on Wednesday, his son, Crown Prince Naruhito will become the 126th emperor to ascend to Japan`s Chrysanthemum Throne, the name given both to the emperor`s position and to his seat, used during the coronation ceremony.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Crown Prince Naruhito inherits the Chrysanthemum Throne at a time of transition for Japan. Once the region`s economic powerhouse, today, the Japanese economy is struggling. The population, ageing and the workforce, shrinking.
The royal family is also shrinking. Women are leaving and giving up their official duties. The law says if a woman marries anyone outside of her own 18-member imperial family, she automatically becomes a commoner. A man keeps his royal status for life. As each princess marries and becomes a commoner, the royal family keeps shrinking, fewer people to fulfill all the responsibilities.
TSUNEYASU TAKEDA, AUTHOR: You`re exactly right. And I believe that a certain number of Imperial family members are needed, as the number has been increasing rapidly.
RIPLEY: Japan used to have many noble families, but after the war, just one. Now, they`re the royal equivalent of an endangered species. Japan also used to allow women to sit on the Chrysanthemum Throne, but that was centuries ago. Today, it`s a different story. The crown prince and princess only have one child, 17-year-old Princess Aiko.
Under current law, she cannot ascend to the throne, so her cousin, 12-year- old Prince Hisahito will be second in line after the abdication. Conservative commentator and Imperial author Tsuneyasu Takeda argues against women reigning again. The reason, preserving the male bloodline of the world`s-oldest, continuous, heredity monarchy.
Why is it necessary for the – for the emperor to be a male?
TAKEDA: First, it`s essential to know why the emperor is an emperor. I think it`s very important as an emperor, historically, is of the principle of pedigree.
RIPLEY: But does that mindset put the whole existence of the royal family at risk? I mean what if there isn`t a male heir? What if a male isn`t born? Then what?
TAKEDA: This male line succession has been in effect for more than 2,000 years. There was some periods when succession became difficult, but historically, they solved the problem, not by putting a daughter or sister of the emperor on the throne but by bringing in someone who had the male line pedigree, even if he was a distant relative.
RIPLEY: But can the Japanese public continue to accept an Imperial family, perceived by some as outdated, out of touch? The Japanese government will soon discuss whether succession law needs to change. Some argue, if it doesn`t, the Imperial family faces an uncertain future.
AZUZ: When someone is set to receive an organ transplant, doctors have only a matter of hours to get the organ to the recipient. Kidneys, lungs and livers simply don`t survive very long when being transferred. Many human organs are transported on airplanes. But some researchers are testing out drones as a way to speed up to the process.
There are a number of obstacles to doing this. For one thing, the most recent test, which was successful, only covered a couple miles. Experts say drones would need engines, not batteries, in order to carry an organ cross-country. Drone technology is still relatively new. There`re concerns about how reliable it is.
And the Federal Aviation Administration still has strict rules concerning drones. Aslo, some wouldn`t be able to lift the machines that keep organs functioning, and special coolers will have to be developed to safely transport them. Still, the technology could save lives.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From West Baltimore, a drone carrying a human organ launches. It lands 2.8 miles away at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Confirming (inaudible) active, temperature`s appropriate, organ doesn`t appeared to be injured at all.
CHEN: The kidney is then successfully transplanted into a patient, saving her life. The first of its kind voyage has the potential to revolutionize the organ transplant process.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will have a direct impact on improving patient outcomes, where time is critical.
CHEN: When performing an organ transplant, figuring out how to get it to the recipient quickly is often the most complicated part. Any delays can destroy the organ`s viability.
JOSEPH SCALEA, DOCTOR: The system is broken and it needs to be fixed. It takes too long, it is unsafe, and it is way too expensive.
CHEN: The new technology has the potential to make it cheaper, faster and more reliable. It could also widen the donor organ pool and improve access for people in rural communities. The University of Maryland is now working with three organ procurement organizations across the country to slowly begin implementing drone use.
I`m Natasha Chen, reporting.
AZUZ: Yoga with baby goats, 10 out of 10. A person who took part in this said she figured it`d be, quote, “Yoga with goats running around,” and that`s pretty much what it was at this event in Kansas. Now, the animals do tend to get in the way, and that`s all part of the fund.
And a farm representative says your hair and clothes are at risk of getting a serious nibble. But if you don`t mind a downward-facing goat, with your downward-facing dog, then you`ll probably want to nama-stay for more. You`ll sub breathing for bleeding, posture for pasture, agility for futility. If this very idea gets your goat and you feel like you got a bad workout, hey, at least you`ll have a scapegoat.
I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.