Another Storm Set to Hit Central Mozambique


In 2019, Zimbabwe and Mozambique saw a lot of destruction of property and loss of life caused by cyclones. Two consecutive cyclones- Idai in March and Kenneth in April hit and devastated the people of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The cyclones brought unusually heavy rain and high winds to the Southern Africa region. The effects of the two caused the deaths of more than 1,000 people across the Southern Africa area. Additionally, the storms affected nearly 4 million individuals in Southern Africa countries.

Previous Storms

This year yet another cyclone was set to hit Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Tropical storm Chalane was expected to have even more devastating effects than the last two cyclones. Because of this, the two nations stepped up their storm preparedness measures this year. Government authorities and aid agencies ensured all possible measures to deal with the storm were put in place as they had learned their lessons from the cyclone in 2019.

But much of the expected destruction worldwide by cyclone Chalane did not occur at a great magnitude. Many in Mozambique and Zimbabwe thought the storm would cause great destruction. People and government authorities feared that property, lives, and infrastructure would be significantly affected. But when the storm hit, it weakened some days later and did not cause widespread damage.

Safety Measures

However, the measures put in place during last year’s cyclone Chalane suggested that the disaster prevention measures had started to move forward. Zimbabwe and Mozambique deployed different beneficial measures to keep people safe ahead of the disaster. For instance, in Zimbabwe, the government ensured safety through the easy transmission of information concerning the storm. Additionally, authorities evacuated people to shelters in designated schools, public halls, and churches. Before the storm, about 600 villagers receive free transportation by state buses, lorries, and even private tractors. The different vehicles took people to assembly points where they got registered and taken to evacuation centers.

The Mozambique government, on the other hand, deployed different measures of their own. In Beira and Safala, some residents in vulnerable areas moved on their own to shelters near their homes. The Mozambique Red Cross, on the other hand, provided locals with advanced warnings concerning the storm. The Red Cross provided the same service during the cyclone in 2019, but the organization went a step further during the recent one in 2020. The organization also offered training and distributed kits to reinforce homes and schools ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Central Mozambique to Experience Cyclone Eloise

Because of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, the waters surrounding the south have become warmer. The warm waters cause stronger storms and the seas to rise, making low-lying coastlines vulnerable to the storms. Additionally, due to global warming, cyclones and flash floods, which were rare, have become a regular occurrence in the southeast African coastline.

This week Mozambique’s weather forecast announced yet another powerful storm expected to intensify into a tropical cyclone. Mozambique’s weather team named the expected cyclone Eloise and said it would dump rain onto the already swollen rivers in areas devastated by previous cyclones.

Mozambique’s National Meteorological Institute (INAM) revealed that the storm would make landfall in the country on Saturday. INAM added that the warm Indian Ocean waters fuel the storm’s strength, and it could develop into a category three tropical cyclone. The department also revealed that the storm would pack winds of up to 140 kmh (87 mph). The storm would as well deliver 200 millimeters (7.87 inches) of rain in 24 hours. INAM said they expected the storm to pummel the port city of Beira and the surrounding areas. But after hitting land in Mozambique, the department stated that Eloise would lose strength and travel inland to southern Zimbabwe, far eastern Botswana, and eastern South Africa.



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