Eloise brought winds up to 150 km / h followed by torrential rains over the port city of Beira and the adjacent district of Buzi.
A tropical cyclone that hit central Mozambique last week affected 250,000 people, a large increase from initial estimates, according to a UN official.
Myrta Kaulard, the UN resident coordinator in Mozambique, added on Tuesday that 18,000 people were internally displaced after Cyclone Eloise made landfall in the early hours of Saturday.
“Yesterday, we mentioned 170,000 people affected. Today, the official figures have risen to 250,000, ”Kaulard said in a video call with UN reporters, adding that 76 health centers and hundreds of classrooms were damaged.
“We are also seeing widespread flooding which is still there and a lot of people are still trying to get out of the flooded areas,” she said.
Eloise brought winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (90 miles per hour) followed by torrential rains over the port city of Beira, the capital of Mozambique’s Sofala province, and the adjacent district of Buzi.
It weakened in a tropical storm as it moved inland to Zimbabwe, South Africa, eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland and Botswana.
The region’s death toll rose to 14 on Tuesday after South Africa reported another death.
In Mozambique, the cyclone hit an area already devastated by two successive super-storms in March and April 2019.
The first, Cyclone Idai, killed more than 1,000 people and caused damage estimated at around $ 2 billion.
An international humanitarian group warned on Tuesday that overcrowded centers for storm survivors created ideal conditions for the spread of the coronavirus.
In the port city of Beira alone, 8,700 people are living in 16 temporary shelters after their homes were destroyed by the cyclone.
“Each tent I saw contained at least 10 people and families did not have access to clean water and essentials like soap and face masks,” said Marcia Penicela, project manager at ActionAid Mozambique after a visit to the sites.
Espinola Caribe, head of the World Food Program’s Beira sub-office, also said COVID-19 was a concern and people should be taken out of harm’s way.
“It wasn’t a planned evacuation… it was running for your life,” he said.