The South African Weather Service says Cyclone Eloise has been downgraded to a depression that is currently over the extreme northern parts of Limpopo causing heavy rain in some areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The Tropical Cyclone was downgraded to a tropical depression last night. Depression Eloise made landfall in Beira in Mozambique on Saturday. The downgrade means that heavy rains are still expected but that the impact of strong winds has decreased.

“With a tropical cyclone, you get maximum wind speeds between 34 and 63 knots, whereas with a tropical depression you get up to a maximum level of 83 knots, 66km p/hour. So, the weakening of the wind strength is due to the friction of the land, because the tropical cyclone no longer has the warm ocean water fuelling it. So, as it moves overland it encounters friction such as buildings, trees –  that weakens the strength of the wind and it becomes a tropical depression,” says Forecaster Ayanda Nsele.

Disaster teams deployed in Limpopo

Disaster management teams had been deployed in Limpopo ahead of the arrival of cyclone Eloise that was expected to hit the province as well as Mpumalanga.

The South African Weather Service issued an alert nine for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, warning of heavy rain and flooding.

Limpopo’s Cooperative Governance MEC Basikopo Makamu said the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be on stand-by to rescue people who might be trapped or cut off.

South African Weather Service warns residents of tropical cyclone Eloise: