Storm Eloise: Measures in place should SA communities need to evacuate

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Tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall in Mozambique on Saturday, hitting the port city of Beira with strong winds and heavy rains.

Tropical Cyclone Eloise made landfall in the Beira area on Saturday, 23 January 2021. Picture: SA Weather Service

JOHANNESBURG – Emergency authorities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Limpopo on Sunday said measures were in place should communities need to be evacuated as tropical cyclone Eloise approached South Africa.

The KZN Cooperative Governance Department said areas such as Jozini, Mutubatuba, Ulundi and Umlalazi would be monitored closely when the storm made landfall.

While in Limpopom, Eloise was expected to hit the Vhembe, Capricorn, Sekhukhune and Mopani regions.
A number of southern African countries lie in the storm’s path.

Tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall in Mozambique on Saturday, hitting the port city of Beira with strong winds and heavy rains.

Cars were submerged in water while walls of some low-lying buildings collapsed and stretches of land were flooded.
Limpopo Cooperative Governance MEC Basikopo Makamu said the province was prepared.

“The South African National Defence Force is also ready, with the South African Police Service’s Rescue Unit – they are also ready. They’ve got their choppers on standby should the need arise to use it. As a province, we think we are properly ready for this cyclone.”

In KZN, emergency workers may have their hands full.

Spokesperson for the province’s Cooperative Governance Department Nonala Ndlovu said, “We are ready but there is still more needed to be done in terms of being totally prepared. We are moving to a stage where we want to be proactive and try to assist communities before the storm actually hits. We are looking at what can be done to move people in advance. “

At the same time, the Kruger National Park said contingency plans had been put in place to safeguard animals and tourist as the cyclone closed in.

Disaster management teams in the Kruger National Park were on high alert as the storm is expected to make landfall in South Africa.

Various parts of the the Kruger, particularly in the far north, were been affected by major rainfall and strong winds due to the tropical storm.

The imminent landfall of the storm has necessitated the closure of some the parks facilities

Spokesperson for the south African National Parks, Ike Phaahla, said, “The Kruger National Park’s disaster management teams are on high alert and as a precautionary measure we closed of gravel roads, picnic sites as well as the bushveld camp.”

Eloise comes just two years after Idai struck southern Africa.

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