Mozambique + 3 more

Southern Africa ā€“ Tropical Cyclone Eloise Flash Update No.7, As of 24 January 2021

Situation Report
Originally published



  • In Mozambique, where Tropical Cyclone Eloise made landfall on 23 January, preliminary reports indicate that nearly 7,000 people have been displaced and more than 5,000 houses have been destroyed, damaged or flooded, mainly in Buzi, Dondo, Nhamatanda and Beira City, according to the preliminary data from the Government. These numbers could rise in the days ahead as the full extent of the damage becomes known.

  • Since its landfall, the Eloise weather system has weakened into an overland depression and moved towards South Africa, bringing heavy rainfall to the far north of the country, as well as to southern Zimbabwe and eastern Botswana.


After making landfall in central Mozambique, Tropical Cyclone Eloise weakened into an overland tropical depression and crossed Mozambique on 23 January, causing heavy rainfall in its path. The weather system moved through southern Zimbabwe into the extreme northern parts of Limpopo Province, South Africa, on 24 January, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), and it is expected to reach parts of eastern Botswana in the coming days.

In Mozambique, Tropical Cyclone Eloise has caused damage and flooding and left roads impassable in parts of Sofala, Zambezia, Inhambane and Manica provinces. As of 23 January, at least 163,283 people had been affected, including 6,859 displaced, according preliminary information from the National Institute for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction (INGD). Sofala province has been hardest hit, especially in Buzi, Dondo and Nhamatanda districts and Beira City, according to INGD. The cyclone left more than 5,000 houses destroyed (1,069), damaged (3,343) or flooded (1,500) and destroyed or damaged dozens of classrooms. At least 11 health centres have been damaged and electricity was affected in some areas. Almost 137,000 hectares of crops have been flooded. All of these number are, however, preliminary and could rise in the days ahead as further information becomes available on the full extent of the damage caused by Eloise. Many of the areas hit by Eloise were devastated by Tropical Cyclone Idai less than two years ago. With many people still recovering from the losses and trauma caused by Idai, psychosocial support will be critical during the response to Eloise.

In Zimbabwe, heavy rains have caused flooding, mudslides and destruction of infrastructure in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Central, Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces since 23 January, according to the Government’s Meteorological Services Department (MSD). In Manicaland, at least three people reportedly died in Chipinge District, after they were swept away by floodwater that destroyed about 15 houses in Gumiro Village. The heavy rains also caused a mudslide in Chipinge and Tanganda, with large boulders blocking some roads, and damages to at least three schools across the province. The Watershed, Bangazzan and Mutakura dams are at their alert levels and could spill and cause flooding downstream. In Masivingo Province, damages to roads are hampering access to nearly 170 people waiting to be evacuated in Ward 34 of Village 21, Masvingo District. Some are already living in the open, in urgent need of shelter assistance. Tokwe Mukosi Dam has reached its full capacity and begun to spill, which could lead to floods in the province, according to Zimbabwe National Water Authority. In Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, 34 families have been evacuated to two high schools in Budiriro and are in need of food, hygiene kits, blankets, and other non-food items.

In South Africa, SAWS issued a red alert for disruptive rains over the escarpment and Lowveld areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, as well as the eastern Highveld areas until tomorrow 25 January. The weather service warned that heavy rainfall will add to already saturated grounds and could cause flooding, mudslides and rockfalls in eastern and northern parts of Limpopo, eastern parts of Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu-Natal. This is likely to drive displacement and disrupt essential services, including water, sanitation, electricity and communication in the region, according to the Government’s SAWS. The heavy rainfall in South Africa will raise water levels of rivers that flow into Mozambique, which could lead to more flooding in Mozambique, in the days ahead.

In Botswana, the Government’s Meteorological Services issued today a warning for heavy rains, strong winds and localized flooding in Southern-Central District over the next 24 hours, and rainfall in most of the country. On 22 January, the Department of Meteorological Services informed that the tropical depression caused by Eloise is expected to drive widespread rainfall, with occasional heavy falls, strong winds and lightning over most parts of the country during the week, advising the population to take necessary precautions.

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