A tropical cyclone that pummeled central Mozambique last weekend has impacted 250,000 people, a sharp increase over initial estimates, a UN official said Tuesday. Myrta Kaulard, the UN’s resident coordinator in Mozambique, also said 18,000 people had been internally displaced after Cyclone Eloise made landfall in the early hours of Saturday. “Yesterday we were mentioning 170,000 people affected. Today, the official figures have climbed to 250,000 people affected,” Kaulard said in a video call with reporters at the UN. She added that 76 health centers had been damaged, as well as hundreds of school rooms.
“We also see widespread floods that are still there and what we can see is a lot of people trying still to get out of the flooded areas,” she said. “We are very worried.”
Eloise brought high-speed winds of up to 150 km/h (90 mph) followed by torrential rain over the port city of Beira, the capital of Mozambique’s Sofala province, and the adjacent Buzi district. The cyclone hit an area already devastated by two successive super-storms in March and April 2019.
The first, Cyclone Idai, left more than 1,000 dead and caused damage estimated at around $2 billion. Kaulard also said the spread of the coronavirus had been increasing in recent weeks.