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Beira city devastated again by cyclone

The city of Beira, the second largest in Mozambique, fell into ruins again. The force of Cyclone Eloise took off roofs, turned boats and left streets and several neighborhoods completely flooded. At least three people have died and an estimated 200,000 people are likely to be affected by flooding in the coming days in Mozambique.

Almost two years after Cyclone Idai wiped out that coastal city, where 62,000 houses were destroyed and about a thousand lives were claimed, Beira is again hit hard.

Of the fatal victims, two were hit by housing walls that collapsed in the Munhava neighborhood. The other was hit by rail material blown by the wind.

“The scenario is of great destruction. The cyclone devastated many structures, the walls of many houses fell and the roofs flew,” Nelson Moda, 37, responsible for the Sant’Egido community in Sofala province, told JN this Saturday.

This cyclone, which entered dawn in Beira and crossed central Mozambique, was much longer than Idai.

The strong winds, which went at 160 kilometers per hour, took everything they found ahead. The rains, which still persist, left the houses with more than half a meter of water.

Despite the preparation of the population, who learned from the past and strengthened windows and roofs, Eloise returned to leaving entire families homeless. Many of them had not yet finished rebuilding the houses, devastated in 2019.

Adding to the meteorological disaster is the covid-19 pandemic. “Right now there are already many people in accommodation centers without masks, let alone physical distance. This can lead to a high rate of positive cases of covid-19, which has already been fatal,” said Nelson, recalling that it is also necessary to prevent the appearance cholera and malaria.

Uncalculated losses

Also in the Buzi district, the damage was great. The populations were once again surrounded by water and it was necessary to resort to boats available in the district, including private ones, to remove people, reports the Red Cross of Mozambique on its Twitter page.

Although the impact of this cyclone was less than that of Idai, flash floods are expected off the coast of Sofala and Zambezia provinces.

For now, the authorities were still investigating the damage caused by the cyclone, a task hampered by power cuts and telecommunications in many places in the city.

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