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A satellite photograph of Cyclone Eline making land fall. Notice how the tropical storm is swirling in a clockwise direction. This is because it formed in the southern hemisphere. The direction of rotation is due to the Coriolis force.

Cyclone Eline

So What?

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Cyclone Eline was a devastating tropical storm that hit the east coast of Africa.

Cyclone Eline started on the 9th February and lasted about three weeks until around the 2nd March 2000.


[A map to show the location of Mozambique in Africa] Mozambique, on the south east coast of Africa, was badly affected. Heavy rainfall across South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana also affected many people. You can see a map showing the track of the tropical storm on the BBC News Web Site [Click here].

Cyclone Eline formed due to the sea temperatures being 27oC or above. This would have lead to warm, humid air rising, cooling and the condensing. The gap left by the rising air will have been filled by air which was sucked into the system. This processes continues giving the hurricane more and more energy. The air as it rises will start to spin because of the rotating earth. The whole system then moved over land.

So What?
It is estimated that it will take years to rebuild after Mozambique was severely damaged by three weeks of flooding and cyclone Eline. The floods started on the 9th February with heavy rainfall hitting Southern Africa. In South Africa 26 people were killed due to the floods. However it was southern Mozambique that took the full force of the rains and rising waters. Further north, hundreds of thousands were left homeless as homes, bridges and crops were destroyed. Many towns were left without clean water. Flooding made the main road connecting the capital (Maputo) to the second city Beira inaccessible. By the 11th February 70 people had lost their lives. Botswana received 75% of its annual (how much it gets in a year) rainfall in three days. 150,000 people are at risk because of lack of food and diseases from lack of unclean water. By the 22nd February there was worse to come. The full force of the Cyclone hit Mozambique, with wind speeds of 160mph. By the 2nd of March when the cyclone had passed it was estimated that hundreds had died and hundreds of thousands had lost everything. Farmland and crops where still underwater. AID- Mozambique is a very poor country and is known as an LEDC. This means that when natural hazards occur such as cyclone Eline, they have to ask for foreign aid. The UN estimated that $13 million was needed urgently for supplies such as medicine, food and clean water. The government was also asking for $65 million from countries to allow Mozambique to rebuild it's infrastructure. Other countries where also sending in relief workers and helicopters, many people needed to be rescued from the trees where they went to escape the flood waters which had risen by 4-8 metres. One woman even gave birth in the tree she was hanging on to.


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