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Tropical Cyclone Eloise hits Mozambique. ANDRE CATUEIRA / Greenpeace
People obeserve the damage caused by the passage of Tropical Cyclone Eloise after the passage of Tropical Cyclone Eloisey in the city of Beira, Mozambique, 23 January 2021. The city of Beira presented signs of destruction, with several flooded neighborhoods with residents circulating with the water reaching their waist at some points following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Eloise. EPA-EFE/ANDRE CATUEIRA, MOZAMBIQUE WEATHER TROPICAL CYCLONE ELOISE © ANDRE CATUEIRA / Greenpeace

Johannesburg, 26 January 2021: President Filipe Nyusi is set to embark on a trip to areas affected by Cyclone Eloise, as damages are being assessed in Mozambique and neighboring countries, after it struck three days ago. 

“Thoughts and prayers alone won’t fix the climate crisis at the heart of the cyclone,” said Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa Senior Climate and Energy campaigner. “Extreme weather conditions will become more intense and its consequences for communities more severe, unless President Nyusi and his counterparts in the Southern African Development Community take serious climate action.” 

Cyclone Eloise is the third cyclone to hit the Mozambican coast since 2019, affecting more than 250,000 people, displacing at least 18,000 and destroying schools, roads, and other vital infrastructure. In 2019, Cyclone Idai and Kenneth caused extensive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, damaging more than 100,000 homes, killing more than 1,200 people, triggering cholera and diarrhea outbreaks and costing approximately US$2.2 billion to local infrastructure.

A climate risk index released this week by Germanwatch shows Mozambique and Zimbabwe were the two countries hardest-hit by extreme weather in 2019. Last November, Greenpeace Africa released “Weathering the Storm,” a report showcasing how extreme weather events – storms, floods, droughts, extreme heat waves, and locust attacks – are becoming more unbearable and unpredictable across the continent. Tropical cyclones are storms that originate over the ocean when the surface water reaches or exceeds around 26 °C. The broad expectation is for increased rainfall extremes from cyclones that make landfall on East Africa.

“As the weather rages, so will our youth. Thousands across the continent are rising to demand leaders declare a climate emergency and act boldly to safeguard lives, communities and our future,” added Happy Khambule.


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