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Eloise: Greenpeace calls for coordinated action amid demands for leaders to declare climate emergency

President Filipe Nyusi is set to embark on a trip to areas affected by Cyclone Eloise, as damages are being assessed in Mozambique and neighboring countries, after it struck three days ago.

Topical Cyclone Eloise
Storm Eloise made landfall in Mozambique on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Photo credit: Gauteng Weather FB

“Thoughts and prayers alone won’t fix the climate crisis at the heart of the cyclone,” said Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa Senior Climate and Energy campaigner.

“Extreme weather conditions will become more intense and its consequences for communities more severe, unless President Nyusi and his counterparts in the Southern African Development Community take serious climate action,” added Khambule.

Cyclone Eloise is the third cyclone to hit the Mozambican coast since 2019, affecting more than 200,000 people, displacing at least 8,000 and destroying schools, roads, and other vital infrastructure.

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In 2019, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth caused extensive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, damaging more than 100,000 homes, killing more than 1,200 people, triggering cholera and diarrhea outbreaks and costing approximately $2.2 billion to local infrastructure.

climate risk index released this week by Germanwatch shows Mozambique and Zimbabwe were the two countries hardest-hit by extreme weather in 2019. Last November, Greenpeace Africa released “Weathering the Storm,” a report showcasing how extreme weather events – storms, floods, droughts, extreme heat waves, and locust attacks – are becoming more unbearable and unpredictable across the continent.

Tropical cyclones are storms that originate over the ocean when the surface water reaches or exceeds around 26 °C. The broad expectation is for increased rainfall extremes from cyclones that make landfall on East Africa.

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“As the weather rages, so will our youth. Thousands across the continent are rising to demand leaders declare a climate emergency and act boldly to safeguard lives, communities and our future,” added Khambule.

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