Maputo/Nairobi/Geneva, 22 January 2021 — With Tropical Storm Eloise expected to make landfall in Central Mozambique early tomorrow (23 January), the Red Cross is warning of the potential for major damage and displacement.
Tropical Storm Eloise is predicted to make landfall in Sofala Province, about 20km north of the city of Beira that bore the brunt of Cyclone Idai in March 2019. The Red Cross has activated teams of volunteers to support evacuation and preparation efforts.
Gorkhmaz Huseynov, IFRC’s head of country office in Mozambique, said:
“We are worried about the safety of over 1 million people in high-risk areas. Mozambique Red Cross teams are on high alert and have already prepositioned emergency relief items in the landfall area. They are already providing water, sanitation, hygiene and health services to families in temporary accommodation centres.”
Tropical Storm Eloise is predicted to turn into a category one cyclone with winds between 110km per hour and 185km per hour.
Heavy rains will be felt on the coast of Zambezia, Sofala and Inhambane provinces from this evening (22 of January).
The cyclone is forecast to cross central Mozambique with considerable strength and potential for widespread floods. It is expected to decrease in intensity as it crosses southern Zimbabwe and South Africa.
IFRC’s Huseynov said:
“Ahead of the landfall, Mozambique Red Cross staff and volunteers—in collaboration with partners—have shared early warning messages to communities in the path of the cyclone in order to minimise the impact of the cyclone. As a result, many families moved to safer areas, where they are receiving support from our teams.”
Mozambique is prone to cyclones and tropical storms which can lead to flash flooding, hundreds of deaths, and massive destruction of property and crops. Eloise is expected to strike areas that have been devastated by previous cyclones, including Cyclone Idai.
About the IFRC
The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives, build community resilience, strengthen localization and promote dignity around the world.