Communities in northern KwaZulu-Natal are bracing themselves for the impact of tropical cyclone Eloise.
The tropical cyclone, that hit Mozambique and Madagascar on Saturday is predicted to impact weather patterns in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga with heavy rain and flooding expected.
#CycloneEloise has brought heavy rains and strong winds in Mozambique’s Sofala Province, with a risk for significant flooding in the days ahead. #Eloise is expected to move inland, bringing heavy rains to southern Zimbabwe & northern South Africa.
— OCHA Southern & Eastern Africa (@UNOCHA_ROSEA) January 23, 2021
Weather forecaster Julius Mahlangu, “We are expecting the cyclone to start affecting the northeastern parts of KZN after midday, that is when we are expecting some showers and thunderstorms and then becoming heavy as we proceed into the late afternoon and evening, as well as going into Monday.”
Mpumalanga disaster management teams on high alert
Mpumalanga has put measures in place to mitigate the impact of heavy rains expected to hit large parts of the province as a result of tropical storm Eloise.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is predicting possible flooding in four provinces, including Mpumalanga this weekend.
Tropical storm Eloise, which has made landfall in central Mozambique, is expected to cause disruptive rain and widespread flooding on Sunday.
Provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson, George Mthethwa, says they have activated municipal disaster management units to be on standby for any eventuality.
“We have a stockpile of mattresses or sponges if the heavy rain has a negative effect in households. We have a stockpile of water sachets the material used to clean water if muddied our municipalities are on the lead to provide transport in case of evacuation.”
It is predicted that some parts of the Kruger National Park will be hit by major rainfall and strong winds on Sunday due to the cyclone. Park spokesperson, Ike Phaahla, says disaster teams are on high alert. He says the path of the cyclone is being monitored.
“In our phase, one activation we have closed vulnerable camps that might be impacted, Sereni, Baleleur and Shingwini, as well as civil dam overnight hike guests, have been informed, and other will be moved to Punda Maria, Shingwedzi and Letaba at the current situation. We are advising everyone who is coming to the KNP, especially the far north, to exercise caution.”
Tourists are urged to be extra cautious during this period.