Mozambique: Tropical Storm Eloise - Information Bulletin no. 2


This bulletin reflects the current situation and details available as of 25 of January 2021. The Mozambique Red Cross Society (CVM), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and its members, is already responding to this humanitarian emergency while continuing to support the national authorities in assessing the extent of the damage.

The situation

Tropical Storm Eloise made landfall in the first hours of 23 of January, 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 many districts in Sofala (in Beira city – 250mm in 24h), South of Manica, North of Inhambane and Eastern Gaza.

Latest assessments conducted on the 25 of January, confirmed that 176,475 people were affected (35,684 families), and 8,363 are currently displaced in 28 accommodation centres (26 in Sofala and 2 in Manica). Over 5,000 people have been evacuated in the last 72 hours by search and rescue teams.

In respect to infrastructure damage, a total of 8,863 private houses and shelters have suffered damages, including 2,435 destroyed completely. 187 public buildings (26 health units and 161 school rooms) have been partially or totally damaged. Power and communication infrastructure was disrupted across several districts, which is delaying the consolidation of the information. The flooded areas continue to expand around the Zambezi, Pungue and Buzi basins and have caused 37 road cuts and an area of over 142,000 croplands to be lost.

Information received indicate that the most affected districts are Dondo, Nhamatanda, Buzi and Muanza in the Sofala Province; as well as Mossurize and Machaze in the Southern Manica Province, and the most pressing humanitarian needs are related with food assistance, non-food items (NFIs) (mosquito nets, jerrycans, mattresses, blankets), hygiene items, clean water and chlorine, latrines, Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs) and COVID-19 mitigation and awareness sessions, malaria and acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) prevention, psychosocial support (PSS) and shelter repairs.

The Province of Sofala and the entire Zambezi Basin was already experiencing significant flooding as a result of heavy rainfall since 15 January, with the districts of Beira (Bairros Mungassa, Ndunda I and II), Buzi, Muanza, Caia, Dondo, Marromeu and Nhamatanda being the hardest hit. Discharge of water from Chicamba dam and the Mavuzi reservoir had also affected residents in Buzi (Vila Sede, Guara-Guara, Ampara, Grudja, Estaquinha, Inhamuchindo, and Bândua).

The accumulated precipitation over a 3-day period will be above 150mm in the Pungue, Save and Buzi Rivers, and 200mm in the Limpopo River Basin. Taking into account the January rainfall, the Global Flood Awareness System (Glofas) predicts 20-year return period floods in the Limpopo basin. This will lead to increased damage in urban infrastructure - especially in the most impoverished and vulnerable urban areas - and agriculture fields in the rural areas, destroying crops that are a lifeline for the majority of the population.