Cyclone Eloise leaves massive flooding in its wake in Mozambique

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People in the Mozambican port city of Beira breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday as Cyclone Eloise caused less damage than feared, although the danger of flooding remained in a region still recovering from a devastating cyclone two years ago.

In 2019, Cyclone Idai killed several hundred people and displaced well over 100,000 others.

Ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Eloise, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that at least 100,000 people would be affected.

“There have been floods, but we have been kind of lucky that the speed of the wind has not been as high as we were anticipating. As you can imagine, there is a high wind. It usually brings a lot of destruction. So, comparatively, this has been milder. However, there has been a lot of water on the ground, so the floods have been there and the telecommunication system has been disrupted”, said Gorkhmaz Huseynov, the head of the Mozambican Red Cross.

The eye of the storm passed over Beira before dawn on Saturday, having already brought heavy rains to Zambezia province and its capital, Quelimane.

The cyclone lost force after making landfall but took out electricity and communications infrastructure in Beira, a city of roughly half a million people, and surrounding areas.

Electric company EDM said it had turned off power as a precautionary measure after water got into a substation in Beira, local outlet Carta de Mocambique reported.

Eloise is the second cyclone to hit central Mozambique this season, after Chalane in December..

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