Nearly 7,000 people driven from their homes and over 130,000 hectares of crops destroyed by torrential downpours and floods.
Heavy rains and flooding forced thousands of people to flee their homes in Mozambique after Tropical Cyclone Eloise caused wind gusts of up to 150 kilometers per hour (km / h).
Eloise hit Mozambique’s coastal Sofala province on Saturday morning before weakening and heading inland to dump rain on Zimbabwe, eSwatini – formerly Swaziland – and South Africa.
Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) said on Sunday that investigations showed Eloise had displaced 6,859 people. The district of Buzi in the region was particularly affected by strong winds.
“Families are in urgent need of essential supplies like food, water, blankets and shelter,” Marcia Penicela, project manager at ActionAid Mozambique, said on Sunday.
“With the high floods and the power lines in Buzi, the challenge now will be to reach the people who need them most,” she added.
Eloise ruined 136,755 hectares of crops, destroyed nine schools and damaged around 17 other schools and 11 hospitals, according to INGD.
It had completely destroyed 1,069 houses, partially destroyed 3,343 and flooded 1,500 others, the agency said.
Cyclone # Éloise caused severe damage and flooding over large swathes of Mozambique’s coast.
Scenes from Quelimane (about 300 km from the landing in Beira)
Via OMM Filipe Lucio pic.twitter.com/IpBZ3Alzt6
– World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) 23 January 2021
After weakening and being demoted to a tropical storm, Eloise left Zimbabwe to dump heavy rains in parts of South Africa’s Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, authorities said.
“So far, the highest amount we have recorded is between 115 and 128 mm of precipitation in Limpopo, especially in the northeast,” Puseletso Mofokeng told Reuters news agency. Senior forecaster of the South African Weather Service.
The floods hit the lowlands of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and winds blew over the roofs of houses and felled trees, blocking roads, he said.
Parts of the affected provinces are expected to receive an additional 100mm of rain this evening and more rain expected on Monday, Mofokeng said.
Heavy rains were also recorded in eastern and south-eastern Zimbabwe on Saturday, filling most dams and flooding some rivers. At least three people were swept away when they tried to cross flooded rivers in eastern Zimbabwe, authorities said.