The death toll from storm Eloise has risen to at least 12 according to figures from authorities across southeast Africa, where heavy winds, rain and flooding have destroyed buildings and crops.
A tropical cyclone when it made landfall at Mozambique’s central province of Sofala on Saturday, Eloise subsequently weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland to dump rain on Zimbabwe, eSwatini, South Africa and Botswana.
Six people were killed in Mozambique, the country’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) reported, while the number of displaced people rose to more than 8000.
Homes, crops and infrastructure were also damaged, flooded or destroyed.
The death toll from flooding in eSwatini now stands at two, according to police, while three people have been reported killed in Zimbabwe and one in Madagascar.
Ongoing rain, though lightening, threatened further floods.
“Rainfall is starting to ease off slowly,” Puseletso Mofokeng, senior forecaster at the South African Weather Service, said.
“But we are still going to continue with the possibility of flooding (in South Africa) … because of the ground already being oversaturated.”
Zimbabwe’s national water authority also warned that dams were spilling over and could cause floods further downstream.
In central Mozambique, Eloise exacerbated existing floods, with villages and vast swathes of farmland submerged in brown water after rivers burst their banks.
Rainfall in Zimbabwe also runs back down into the country via those rivers, which contributed to the devastating floods following Cyclone Idai in March 2019.
Mofokeng said Eloise is expected to move towards south western Botswana tomorrow, where it will cause heavy rain.
More downpours are also expected in South Africa in the coming days.