Disaster management teams have been deployed in Limpopo ahead of the arrival of cyclone Eloise that is expected to hit the province as well as Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday. The South African Weather Service issued an alert nine for Limpopo and Mpumalanga, warning of heavy rain and flooding.
The cyclone made landfall in the Mozambican port city of Beira early Saturday morning.
South African Weather Service warns residents of Mpumalanga and Limpopo of tropical cyclone Eloise:
Limpopo’s Cooperative Governance MEC, Basikopo Makamu, says the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be on stand-by to rescue people who might be trapped or cut off.
“We are ready for the cyclone after we have been advised by the South African Weather Services, we expect the cyclone around four districts in the province. We then activated our disaster management centre, which eventually activated our district disaster management centres, which created their joint operation centres, which are now ready to make sure that we respond to any eventuality that we may expect. Everybody is prepared; the South African National Defence Force, even if there could be people trapped in some other areas the South African National Defence Force will be ready to assist.”
Farmers on high alert as tropical storm Eloise expected to hit Limpopo:
Damage in Mozambique
Reports from Mozambique indicate that tropical storm Eloise has caused mild to severe damage and flooding in the port city of Beira.
However, the president of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction, Luisa Meque, says it is still too early to quantify the extent and scale of destruction.
Eloise made landfall in the early hours of Saturday morning in Beira with wind speeds of 160km per hour. Pictures on Twitter show cars submerged in water, collapsed walls and flooded agricultural land.
— band allen (@bandallen1) January 23, 2021
— Gauteng Weather (@tWeatherSA) January 23, 2021
Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) said Sofala province, which includes Beira, had seen 200 millimetre of rainfall and was likely to see another 100 millimetre over the next 24 hours. The city is still recovering from the devastation of cyclone Idai which hit the region in March 2019.
KZN bracing for storm
Communities in northern KwaZulu-Natal are bracing themselves for the impact of the storm.
Weather forcaster Julius Mahlangu says they expect the cyclone to affect the north-eastern parts of KZN at midday on Sunday.
“We are expecting the cyclone to start affecting the north eastern 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.”