Tropical Cyclone Eloise claimed the lives of at least 15 people in five southern African countries and left thousands of others without homes, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said on Wednesday.
Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said flooding caused by the cyclone resulted in loss of lives in Madagascar, Mozambique, eSwatini, South Africa and Botswana.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the cyclone has affected over 1,000 people in Madagascar and left one person dead,” Masisi said in a statement.
He said the heavy rains and widespread flooding triggered by the cyclone in Mozambique affected more than 21,500 people and left three dead.
“The Tropical Cyclone has also affected some parts of Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa, where heavy rains and flooding led to the loss of 13 lives, as well as destruction of various infrastructure and property,” the Botswana leader said.
Tropical Cyclone Eloise started as a Tropical Storm and made landfall in Madagascar in the early hours of January 19.
Thereafter, it gained momentum after reaching the Mozambique Channel and developed into a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone.
It made landfall near Beira in Mozambique’s Sofala province on January 23, with strong winds and heavy rains.
Reports indicate that 134 houses were flooded in Madagascar while 56 houses were completely destroyed in the same country and about 100 classrooms were destroyed.
In Mozambique, the cyclone flooded more than 3,900 hectares of farmland and over 50,000 km² of land in Sofala and Manica provinces, with impacts on livelihoods, agriculture production and food security.