Mozambique + 4 more

Southern Africa – Tropical Cyclone Eloise Flash Update No.11, As of 28 January 2021



  • More than 270,000 people have been affected by Eloise across Southern Africa, including 267,289 in Mozambique, more than 1,000 in Zimbabwe and more than 1,000 in Eswatini.

  • The death toll from Eloise has risen to 21, including 11 in Mozambique, 3 in Zimbabwe, 4 in Eswatini, 2 in South Africa and 1 in Madagascar.

  • With flood waters present in multiple locations, the risk of water-borne diseases, including cholera, is high.

  • Tens of thousands of hectares of crops have been flooded due to the Eloise weather system, which could have consequences for the next harvest and food security in the period ahead.


The Eloise weather system has left at least 21 people dead -11 in Mozambique, 3 in Zimbabwe, 4 in Eswatini, 2 in South Africa and 1 in Madagascar- and affected more than 270,000 people across Southern Africa, according to preliminary information which continues to be updated as new data becomes available. Although the damage wrought by Eloise to date has been less widespread than Tropical Cyclone Idai in 2019, homes, crops and infrastructure in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and South Africa have been damaged or destroyed.

In Mozambique, the number of people affected by Tropical Storm Eloise has risen to 267,289, as assessment teams have reached areas impacted by the storm and further information is becoming available. At least 20,167 people are sheltering in 32 temporary accommodation centres after being displaced by flooding, where urgent needs include clean water and sanitation to prevent disease outbreaks. At least 20,558 houses have been destroyed (6,297), damaged (11,254) or flooded (3,007), mainly in Sofala Province, according to the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Risk Reduction’s (INGD) data as of 27 January. At least 460 classrooms and 86 health centres will need repairs. According to UNICEF, at least 90,000 children in central Mozambique are likely to need humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of Cyclone Eloise, including those displaced and those at risk of contracting waterborne diseases. With more than 177,000 hectares of crops flooded, there are concerns regarding the potential consequences for the next harvest and food security in the period ahead.

Since yesterday, 27 January, moderate rains have been recorded across Mozambique, especially in the Maputo river basin. River water levels are predicted to fluctuate, with a tendency to decrease, in the next 72 hours in Maputo river basin (Madubula,Incomáti rivers ), Limpopo river basin (Chohwe and Sicacte rivers) and the Save and Pungwe river basins, according to the National Directorate of Water Resource Management (DNGRH). The Zambezi River may increase in runoff volume, particularly in the lower Zambezi, which may cause flooding located in low and riverside areas.

In Zimbabwe, at least 349 houses are reported to have been destroyed or partially damaged by Eloise, according to IOM. In Manicaland province, multiple major roads require rehabilitation following damages due to incessant rains. In the province’s capital, Mutare, the main bridge was damaged, although vehicles can still pass. In Chimanimani district, some 265 people (101 households) who are still living in displacement sites due to Cyclone Idai were temporarily evacuated. In Chipinge,190 households were affected across 7 wards. In Buhera, two houses had their roofs blown off, while at least 172 people (47 households) have been relocated to higher ground following the spilling of the Tugwi Mukosi Dam. In neighbouring Masvingo province, an estimated 31 homes have been destroyed in Chiredzi district, according to IOM.

In South Africa, multiple severe weather events were reported in western Free State and north-eastern Northern Cape between 26 and 27 January, including damage to roads, widespread flooding and evacuations of communities and people stranded by rising floodwaters, according to the South African Weather System (SAWS). The heavy rains may cause “extensive damage” to crops and waterlog farmlands, with potential to significantly impact agricultural production, according to SAWS.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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