Tropical Cyclone Eloise was a tropical cyclone that hit the southeastern coast of Africa in late January 2021. The cyclone brought heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flooding to several countries in the region, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. In this article, we will discuss the stage of development of the Tropical Cyclone Eloise that has affected Southern Africa in recent years.
Formation of Tropical Cyclone Eloise
Tropical Cyclone Eloise formed in the Indian Ocean on January 15, 2021. The system initially developed as a low-pressure area off the coast of Madagascar, before moving eastward towards the Mozambique Channel. As the system moved over warm ocean waters, it began to intensify and develop into a tropical cyclone.
By January 18, the system had reached cyclone strength, with sustained winds of up to 65 knots (120 km/h). The cyclone continued to intensify as it moved towards the coast of Mozambique, and by January 19, it had reached its peak intensity, with sustained winds of up to 85 knots (155 km/h).
Impact of Tropical Cyclone Eloise
Tropical Cyclone Eloise brought heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flooding to several countries in Southern Africa. In Mozambique, the cyclone caused widespread flooding and displacement, with over 250,000 people affected. The flooding also damaged infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and buildings.
In Zimbabwe, the cyclone caused flooding and landslides, with at least 12 people reported dead and several others missing. The flooding also damaged crops and livestock, impacting the country’s agriculture sector.
In South Africa, the cyclone brought heavy rainfall to several provinces, causing flooding and landslides. The flooding damaged infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and caused power outages in several areas.
Relating Tropical Cyclone Eloise to Other Cyclones in Southern Africa
Tropical Cyclone Eloise was not the first cyclone to hit Southern Africa in recent years. In 2019, Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, causing widespread damage and displacement. Cyclone Idai was also one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit the southern hemisphere, with over 1,000 people reported dead and several others missing.
Like Tropical Cyclone Eloise, Cyclone Idai formed as a low-pressure area off the coast of Mozambique before intensifying and moving towards the coast. The cyclone brought heavy rainfall and flooding to several countries in the region, causing damage to infrastructure and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
Another cyclone that hit Southern Africa in recent years was Cyclone Kenneth, which hit Mozambique in April 2019. Cyclone Kenneth was one of the strongest cyclones to hit the region, with sustained winds of up to 140 knots (260 km/h). The cyclone caused widespread damage and displacement, with over 45,000 people affected.
Lessons Learned from Tropical Cyclone Eloise and Other Cyclones in Southern Africa
Tropical Cyclone Eloise and other cyclones that have hit Southern Africa in recent years have highlighted the need for better disaster preparedness and response in the region. One of the key lessons learned from these events is the importance of early warning systems, which can help to alert communities and authorities to potential risks and allow for early action.
Another lesson learned is the need for better infrastructure and housing in vulnerable areas. Many of the communities affected by cyclones in Southern Africa are located in low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding, which makes them more vulnerable to the impacts of cyclones. Building better infrastructure and housing in these areas can help to reduce the risk of damage and displacement during cyclones.
Finally, these events have also highlighted the need for better coordination and cooperation between governments, organizations, and communities in disaster response efforts. Effective disaster response requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and local communities.
Tropical Cyclone Eloise was a powerful cyclone that brought heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flooding to several countries in Southern Africa. The cyclone was not the first to hit the region in recent years, and its impact highlights the need for better disaster preparedness and response in the region.
As we have seen, early warning systems, better infrastructure and housing, and effective collaboration between stakeholders are all key factors in improving disaster preparedness and response. By learning from the lessons of Tropical Cyclone Eloise and other cyclones in the region, we can work towards a safer and more resilient Southern Africa.