Severe winds and heavy rains have wrecked thousands of buildings, ruined crops and displaced almost 7000 people in Mozambique, officials say.
Tropical cyclone Eloise hit Mozambique’s Sofala coastal province on Saturday morning before weakening and heading inland to dump rain on Zimbabwe, eSwatini and South Africa.
Authorities initially said Eloise had only caused minor damage in Mozambique’s port city of Beira but that it was too early to gauge the full extent of the damage across the rest of the region.
On Sunday, Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) said investigations had shown Eloise had injured 12 people and displaced 6,859.
The region’s Buzi district had been particularly hard hit with wind speeds of up to 150 kph.
“Families are in urgent need of essential supplies like food, water, blankets and shelter,” said Marcia Penicela, project manager at ActionAid Mozambique, speaking from Beira.
“With high flood waters and power lines down in Buzi, the challenge will now be reaching people most in need,” she added.
Eloise had ruined 136,755 hectares of crops, destroyed nine schools and damaged about 17 other schools and 11 hospitals, INGD said in a statement.
It had completely destroyed 1069 houses, partially destroyed 3343 and flooded another 1500, the agency added.
Eloise later weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.