Mozambique: Cyclone Eloise Brings Flooding

Cyclone Eloise hit Beira and Buzi Saturday morning (23 Jan) with 120 km/h winds. The cyclone passed south-west and is now a tropical storm in South Africa. Six people have been killed.

Heavy rain of more than 200 mm caused the major problems. On Friday afternoon the cyclone skirted the coast of Zambezia, causing flooding in coastal districts from Quelimane to Chinde. Parts of Beira were flooded and electricity and mobile telephone services were cut for a day, but are now back on. The only road into Beira, the N6 from Zimbabwe and Chimoio to Beira, remained open.

Three rivers were already high. Flooding has been exacerbated by the heavy rains from Eloise, and flooding will continue for several more days. From south to north:

Save River on the boundary between Inhambane and Sofala was already 1 metre above flood level on Friday (22 Jan), before Eloise, and some riverside villages are flooded. The only bridge crossing the river, on the N1, is closed for repairs, and a temporary bypass bridge built. It was closed on Friday when a section of the temporary bridge was washed out. Water reached 2 m above flood level yesterday, and continued flooding is predicted. It has been possible to open the old under-repair bridge to a single lane of traffic.

Buzi River has been 2 metres above flood level since Tuesday 19 January and we showed film of the flooding on Wednesday in our previous bulletin on Buzi is still flooded and the only road access is still under water. The Public works ministry in its daily Boletim Hidrológico Nacional said roads are flooded in the headwaters of the Buzi river in Manica province.

Pungoe River this morning (25 Jan) was 2.7 metres above flood level and some side roads in Nhamatanda district are flooded, but the main N6 is open. Less Eloise rain fell over the Pungoe basin.

In Buza town hundreds of families were evacuated on Thursday because of flooding. In Beira thousnds of people were evacuated from the most flood prone areas and spent Saturday night sleeping in schools. INGD reports that 5082 people were evacuated before Eloise struck. Six people are known to have died, four in Beira when their houses collapsed on top of them, and two in Buzi. So far 2435 houses are known to have been destroyed, and that number will increase.

Elsewhere, the Limpopo River is at flood levels and this could increase with the heavy rains in South Africa from Eloise.

INGC has recently been transformed into the National Institute to Manage Disaster Risk Reduction (Instituto Nacional de Gestao Reducao do Risco de Desastres) - INGD - There is as yet no web page.

INGD and OCHA daily reports and Boletim Hidrológico Naciona are posted on

The EU Copernicus Emergency Management Service has rainfall and flooding forecasting maps on or and click on Map Viewer.

+ There have been a series of false videos alleged to be Eloise damage, but really a US tornado, Australian hailstones, South Africa in 2013, etc.

Further to a comment, from economist Roberto Tibana

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