Tropical cyclone Eloise deluged Mozambique’s Sofala Province with heavy rain and hurricane-force winds on Saturday, killing at least nine, displacing nearly 7,000 and destroying more than 300,000 acres of crops. Mozambique officials also estimated the storm completely destroyed over 1,000 homes and partially destroyed or flooded another 4,843. Extreme precipitation is a clear signal of human-caused climate change; global warming increases ocean evaporation and the amount of moisture the atmosphere can hold, effectively creating and filling a bigger bucket that can dump more water when it rains. Social media posts showed cars submerged large swaths of the port city of Beira submerged by severe flooding, Deutsche Welle reported, and forecasts show more than 200,000 people in Mozambique alone are still at risk for more flooding.
Water levels are already high following Tropical Storm Chalane, which hit near Beira last month, and aid workers are working to prevent a cholera outbreak. Yesterday, the storm — downgraded to a tropical storm — continued to dump heavy rain on Zimbabwe, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and South Africa. (Reuters, Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg $, AFP, Al Jazeera; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase)