Mozambique: Tropical Storm Eloise - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA)

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

This DREF operation is being launched in response to Tropical Storm Eloise, which made landfall on early hours of 23 January 2021 near Beira City in Sofala Province, Central Mozambique. According to the National Institute of Meteorology of Mozambique (INAM), Eloise made landfall with sustained wind speed of up to 140km/h and gusts up to 160km/h and has brought heavy to intense rainfall to the coastal and inland areas. Other provinces being impacted are Inhambane and Gaza Provinces.

There are growing concerns regarding the potential for widespread floods, with all river basins in Sofala and Inhambane provinces already above alert levels before Eloise making landfall and more rains to follow in the coming days.

According to OCHA Flash Update No 5, the Province of Sofala and the entire Zambezi Basin in Mozambique was already experiencing significant flooding as a result of heavy rainfall since 15 January, with the districts of Beira (Bairros Mungassa, Ndunda I e II), Buzi, Muanza, Caia, Dondo, Marromeu and Nhamatanda being the hardest-hit. Discharge of water from Chicamba dam and the Mavuzi reservoir has also affected residents in Buzi (Vila Sede, GuaraGuara, Ampara, Grudja, Estaquinha, Inhamuchindo, and Bândua).

Sofala’s capital, Beira, and surrounding areas, which were hardest hit by Tropical Cyclone Idai in 2019 and recently impacted by Tropical Storm Chalane, would be heavily impacted.

Early rain bands from Eloise before the landfall caused areas of Buzi district to flood with approximately 4,000 families affected. Evacuations were undertaken to three transit centers in the 25 de Setembro and 3 de Fevereiro primary schools and facilities of the Companhia do Búzi, according to media reports quoting the Permanent Secretary of the district.

Search and rescue operations have been set to reach some 400 families along the Buzi River and in some interior villages. A total of 223 families in Nhamatanda and 255 families in Beira were affected and assisted by the government in three evacuation centres. These areas were already facing floods prior to Eloise landfall and with the heavy rainfall forecast in the next days, the affected population will drastically increase.

The National Institute for Management and Disaster Risk Reduction (INGD) is leading preparedness while Emergency Operations Centres (Centro de Operações de Emergência, COE) are operational at the provincial level. INGD, the National Centre for Emergency Operations (CENOE) and humanitarian partners have prepositioned teams and supplies in relevant areas. INGD issued alerts calling on people in affected areas to evacuate.

Mozambique is a country prone to hydrological disasters which normally have extreme impact on the country’s population and infrastructure.

Previous floods have affected tens of thousands of people and Eloise effects are likely to cause further destruction and displacement in areas that are just recovering from Cyclone Idai which caused at least 603 deaths and major destruction in March 2019.

This is in addition to the recent impact of Tropical Storm Chalane which hit the country on 30 December 2020. Based on the above, the Mozambique Red Cross (CVM) is seeking support from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to provide lifesaving services to the most vulnerable amongst the affected. The DREF will also allow CVM to carry out detailed assessments to inform of any change in strategy and support replenishment of utilized prepositioned stock.