Description of the disaster
Tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall in Zimbabwe on the 23 January around 20:00 hrs with wind speeds of 160 kilometres per hour (kph) (99 miles per hour).
After its landfall in Zimbabwe, it brought heavy rains in Masvingo, Manicaland and Matebeleland Provinces, which covers the southern part of Zimbabwe. The Cyclone caused damage to infrastructures already weakened by the earlier Tropical Storm Chalane and Cyclone Idai. There were reported cases of bridges and roads collapsing.
A section of the Skyline-Chimanimani Road in Manicaland Province collapsed because of the heavy rains (Fig 3). Some urban dwellers in Beitbridge and Mutare experienced flash flooding resulting in perimeter walls collapsing and sewage systems overflowing, posing a health threat. The residual impacts of the weather system also greatly impacted adjacent provinces particularly Mashonaland East and Midlands Provinces. Urban areas such as Harare and Chitungwiza also felt the impact of the weather system as witnessed by the flash flooding incidences.
Whilst this was not declared a national disaster, it greatly affected many people, damaged houses, toilets, field crops and livestock. Communities in Masvingo and Chivi were displaced due to backflow of water in the Togwe Mukosi dam resulting from cyclone induced heavy rainfall.
This DREF Operation was launched on 29 January 2021 for CHF 192,509 to support Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) in providing relief assistance in shelter and household items, health, WASH and PGI to 2,000 people (400 HH) in Chivi, Chiredzi, Chipinge and Beitbridge in Masvingo, Manicaland and Matebeleland provinces. In March 2021, an Operation Update was published, implementing a strategic change of targeted areas from Chiredzi to Masvingo Rural district (Masvingo province), decreasing the number of households initially targeted to receive shelter support from 200 HH to 175 HH and including food provision into the response strategy for an overall 1,125 people (225 HH).
Above decisions and ensuing changes were all implemented following assessments conducted with the support of Partner National Societies (PNS). The ZRCS team managed to assess 459 households and the assessment focused on five humanitarian clusters i.e Shelter, Water, Food, Health and WASH.
From the assessments, the major impact of the cyclone was flooding, whilst a significant number of households also faced associated impacts of the cyclone, like windstorms, and lightning incidences as shown on the chart above.