A. THE DISASTER AND THE RED CROSS RED CRESCENT RESPONSE TO DATE
22 January 2021: IFRC Information Bulletin #1 is published
23 January 2021: Tropical Cyclone Eloise made landfall
23 January 2021: IFRC launched a DREF amounting to CHF 359,689
25 January 2021: IFRC Information Bulletin #2 is published
28 January 2021: Emergency Appeal launched to the amount CHF5.1 Million
28 February 2021: Emergency Response phase of appeal completed
August 2021: Preparing for the revision of the Emergency Appeal
Description of the disaster
Tropical Cyclone Eloise, a category 2 storm, made landfall in the first hours of 23 January 2021, 20km south of the Beira City in Sofala Province, bringing winds of 140km/h and wind gusts of over 160km/h as well as extreme and widespread rainfall in Beira, 250mm in 24h, and many districts in Sofala, southern Manica, northern Inhambane, Zambezia and eastern Gaza. The areas were already experiencing significant flooding as a result of heavy rainfall on 15 January 2021. The discharge of water from Chicamba dam and the Mavuzi reservoir had also affected residents in the district of Búzi. The same areas were also affected by tropical storm Chalane on 30 December 2020, resulting in thousands of displaced people. These areas were still recovering from cyclone Idai and 2020 floods.
Búzi, Nhamantanda and Beira were some of the districts most affected. At least 11 people died due to Cyclone Eloise and many were injured. The cyclone caused severe flooding in the same areas that were just recovering from Cyclone Idai in 2019. Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Inhambane are the provinces most directly affected by cyclones. They also have the highest vulnerabilities as a result of slow and interrupted recovery processes due to recurrent disasters.
Sofala Province was the most affected and Búzi District was the epicentre of the Cyclone and was heavily affected by post-cyclone flooding, especially for communities along the Pungwe and Búzi Rivers. There were significant damages to homes, water and sanitation infrastructure across the district.
According to the Shelter Cluster, Cyclone Eloise necessitated the creation of 5 new resettlement sites across Sofala and Estaquinha and the extension of 8 existing resettlement sites, with plots for 6,736 new families, for the newly displaced.
This was a 35% increase from Cyclone Idai, as people continue to recover 2 years after the category 4 storm. On the day before Cyclone Eloise struck the central region of Mozambique, the volunteers spread early warning messages through megaphones and sound systems on cars. Immediately after the cyclone struck volunteers were activated in the accommodation centres and neighbourhoods affected. These volunteers were trained and equipped after cyclone Idai on Community Based-Health and First Aid. The volunteers have done sensibilization on disease prevention on waterborne diseases, malaria and COVID-19. The volunteers provide psychosocial support to the victims of cyclone Eloise. Moreover, they conducted hygiene promotion activities and household water treatment. As the volunteers were already trained and equipped it was possible to provide an adequate and fast response.
In February 2021, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGD) closed the accommodation centres and sent people back to their communities or to resettlement areas with food parcels including Búzi District. Part of the reason this was done was to minimize the high risk of COVID-19 transmission among displaced people in close living spaces. IFRC and CVM continued to work with community leaders in the recovery process. This was done by connecting them to available programs, such as through psychosocial support, within the organization and with relevant government partners.
By April 2021 CVM and IFRC distributed shelter kits to the majority of families in Búzi, Sussendega and Nhamatanda. Whenever kits were distributed, CVM volunteers gave trainings on how to assemble them and instruction in Build Back Safer techniques. The most vulnerable persons received assistance to assemble their kits and improve their shelters. CVM and IFRC helped communities plan to be more resilient in the future, through coordination with community leaders, local government, and the disaster management sector. Plans are being set to help communities prepare before the 2021/22 cyclone season, expected to start in November. There are plans to establish disaster management committees in vulnerable communities to allow them to make specific contingency plans for common disasters such as floods and cyclones.