Cyclone Eloise: 2 children dead, hundreds of homes damaged across three provinces

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Three people walk through light flooding in Limpopo due to storm Eloise.
Three people walk through light flooding in Limpopo due to storm Eloise.
  • Two children have died and hundreds of homes were either partially or completely destroyed as Tropical Cyclone Eloise hit South Africa.
  • The three hardest-hit provinces in South Africa were Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal. 
  • Across all three provinces, many families were displaced.

Two South African children have died and hundreds of local homes were either partially or completely destroyed in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Eloise, which saw heavy winds, rain and flooding destroy buildings, crops and displace thousands in parts of southern Africa.

According to Reuters, Eloise weakened from a cyclone to a tropical storm after making landfall in central Mozambique on Saturday, but continued to dump rain on Zimbabwe, eSwatini - formerly known as Swaziland - South Africa and Botswana.

PICS | Cyclone Eloise causes flooding in Limpopo, KZN

On Tuesday, as the storm abated, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and local government representatives briefed the media to provide updates on the tropical storm and heavy downpours that were experienced in some areas. 

The three hardest-hit provinces in South Africa were Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal, Dlamini-Zuma said. 


Two children are confirmed to have died - in Limpopo, a five-year-old boy drowned while crossing a river, while a 14-year-old boy died in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Mpumalanga Cogta department head Sam Ngubane said two people were possibly missing after being swept away by floodwaters, but this had yet to be confirmed. 

READ | Cyclone Eloise: 13 dead, thousands homeless as storm hits southern Africa

Limpopo Cogta MEC Basikopo Makamu added that bridges were washed away, but that the situation was under control. Makamu said uprooted trees had already been cleared, adding that local government officials would visit the area on Wednesday to assess the damage. 

Across all three provinces, hundreds of homes were either partially or completely destroyed, displacing many families. KwaZulu-Natal Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka said shelter, food parcels and blankets were provided to affected families in that province. 

Dlamini-Zuma said government was monitoring the situation along with disaster management centres in the affected provinces as well as the South African Weather Service (SAWS), warning that rains might return to parts of South Africa.  

Heavy rains

SAWS senior forecaster Ezekiel Sebego said Eloise had moved to the western parts of Botswana and had lost most of its intensity. He added that on Wednesday, the remnants of the storm were expected to merge with another weather system, which could cause heavy rains over the eastern parts of the Northern Cape, parts of the North West, the Free State and the Eastern Cape. 

Sebego said it was still cloudy over the provinces that were earlier affected, but little rain was expected from Tuesday to Friday. 

Mmaphaka Tau, head of the National Disaster Management Centre, said people should avoid crossing flooded roads and bridges and not walk or drive through moving water. He urged South Africans to keep abreast of weather updates in their areas and remain vigilant, especially at night or when driving. People should also avoid contact with floodwater to avoid illness or injuries, he added. 

Cogta officials said that damage assessment was still ongoing and that numbers in terms of displacement and cost of repair would be released once this process was completed. 

No national state of disaster has been declared as all provinces had been able to deal with the impact of the storm effectively. 

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