Southern Africa – Tropical Cyclone Eloise Triggers Floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa

Disaster authorities report that 6 people have died in Mozambique after Tropical Cyclone Eloise made landfall in Sofala Province early on 23 January 2021.

Flood and storm damage in Buzi District, Sofala, Mozambique, after Tropical Storm Eloise, January 2021. Photo: INGD

Previously the storm caused wind damage and flooding in parts of Madagascar, where at least 1 fatality was reported.

In Mozambique, Eloise caused severe flooding in parts of Sofala Province, but also affected Zambezia, Inhambane and Manica provinces as the storm made its way west.

Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) reported over 175,000 people have been affected by the passage of the storm.

INGD added that 6 people have died and 12 injured. Flooding caused severe damage to thousands of homes and over 8,000 people have been displaced, mostly in Sofala Province. INGD estimated that a total of 136,755 hectares of farmland has been flooded in affected areas.

In Zimbabwe, heavy rains caused flooding, mudslides and destruction of infrastructure in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Central, Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces, according to a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.Three people died after being swept away by flood waters in Chipinge, Manicaland Province.

Heavy rain has increased river and dam levels. Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) said the Tokwe Mukosi (also Tugwi Mukosi) dam near Ngundu, Bikita District in Masvingo Province was “discharging a combined average of 16 cubic meters (16000 litres) per second”, as of 25 January. Areas downstream along the Tokwe River have been placed on high alert.

In South Africa, SA Weather Service said heavy rain affected parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, with some flooding reported in Venda in the far north of Limpopo.

Botswana’s Meteorological Services issued warnings for heavy rains, strong winds and localized flooding in Southern-Central District from 24 January.

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