There are now more than 262,200 people affected by Tropical Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique, according to the latest Government figures.
The low pressure system generated by Eloise has largely dissipated after moving over southern Botswana and northern South Africa. However, it is expected to still influence weather in Southern Africa through to the weekend.
There remains a risk of further flooding in the days ahead, including in the Limpopo Basin.
Governments and humanitarian partners are responding to the needs generated by Eloise, but are facing access challenges in several areas, including due to damaged roads and bridges.
The Eloise whether system has largely dissipated after taking a westward path across Southern African and leaving at least 15 people dead -7 in Mozambique, 3 in Zimbabwe, 2 in Eswatini, 2 in South Africa and 1 in Madagascar- in its wake and affecting at least 265,000 people across the region.
In Mozambique, at least 262,216 people have been affected by the Eloise weather system, and 15,930 people remain displaced by flooding in affected areas, according to the National Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction’s (INGD) 26 January update. At least 19,393 houses have been destroyed (5,913), damaged (10,473) or flooded (3,007), mainly in Sofala Province, and at least 424 classrooms and 82 health centres will need repairs. Rapid humanitarian needs assessments are ongoing to obtain a fuller picture of the situation and these figures may change in the days ahead.
Tropical Cyclone Eloise has compounded the needs of at least 8,755 families who were living in 70 resettlement sites established after Cyclone Idai nearly two years ago, according to a rapid assessment carried out by IOM in collaboration with INGD. Resettlement sites in Sofala were hardest-hit, with 6,790 families’ shelters destroyed or damaged, followed by Manica (1,695 families’ shelters destroyed/damaged), and Zambezia (270 families’ shelters destroyed/damaged). The most-affected districts are Buzi (4,619 households), Dondo (1,230 households), Chibabava (773 households), Caia (66 households), and Nhamatanda (102) in Sofala province; Sussundenga (1,695 households) in Manica Province; and Maganja da Costa (143 households), Namacurra (62 households), and Nicoadala (65 households) in Zambezia Province.
Of the 8,755 shelters destroyed or damaged due to rain and strong winds in the resettlement sites, 498 were permanent houses, 563 upgraded shelters, 6,662 emergency shelters and 1,032 tents. Critical infrastructure in and near the resettlement sites was also impacted, with 5,292 latrines, 8 water points, 11 schools (all in Sofala), and 6 health centres damaged. Five resettlement sites were still inaccessible by road due to flooding on 26 January, three of which were in Sofala (Inhajou 2019, Nhamacunta, and Savane) and two in Manica (Tossene Choma and Ngurue).
Riverine flooding is ongoing along the Buzi, Pungwe and Singussi rivers in Sofala Province in Mozambique. However, these rivers have likely peaked and are expected to fall in the days ahead, according to flood risk analysis commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The same risk analysis highlights the potential for flooding along the Limpopo River in the next two to five days, potentially affecting around 16,000 people. It remains possible that dam releases, including in Zimbabwe, could impact river levels and flooding in Mozambique. Given the presence of flood waters, the risk of water-borne and vector-borne diseases is a significant concern.
As of 26 January, the ex-Eloise weather system was a much-weakened extra-tropical depression situated over the southwestern parts of Botswana, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS). In South Africa, the low pressure system is expected to bring scattered to widespread rains to the central parts of the country from the afternoon of 26 January until the weekend. On 27 January, however, the ex-Eloise weather system is expected to interact with a cold front passing South Africa, which could bring significant amounts of rainfall over eastern Northern Cape, western North-West Province and western Free State, according to SAWS. SAWS has issued warnings for “disruptive rainfall” from 26 January to 29 January, including a yellow alert for western North-West Province and the extreme north-eastern parts of Northern Cape, spreading to western and central Free State.
In Zimbabwe, access remains a challenge in districts where roads were destroyed, with some areas still flooded. In Masvingo Province, more than 400 households have been affected by heavy rain in: Gutu District (33 households); Chiredzi District (8 households); and Zaka’s Rural District (368 households). The District Civil Protection Unit (DCP) has reported to IOM that the dams in Gutu District have reached full capacity and there is a risk of flooding. In Bitika District of Masvingo Province, the District Development Coordinator has reported that preliminary findings from the concluded assessments highlight water and sanitation as serious concerns, with people reportedly drinking unsafe water after boreholes were swept away or flooded by heavy rains, according to preliminary information. Nutrition and food concerns were also noted, including reports that some mothers have stopped breastfeeding. In wards 1, 2 and 3 of the district, 10 houses were damaged and blankets, mosquito nets, solar pumps, hygiene supplies, and jerry cans were requested. In Beitbridge, Matabeleland South Province, the DCP is assessing needs. The Tugwe Mukosi dam remains above capacity and there are concerns that continued spillover may impact livelihoods.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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