Disaster Management Centre offices in affected provinces brace for tropical storm Eloise

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Severe Tropical storm 'Eloise' is clearly visible as an impressive swirl of clouds, located in the middle of the Mozambique Channel.
Severe Tropical storm 'Eloise' is clearly visible as an impressive swirl of clouds, located in the middle of the Mozambique Channel.
Image courtesy EUMETSAT 2021.
  • Tropical storm Eloise is expected to hit parts of South Africa by Sunday. 
  • According to the South African Weather Service, northern eastern parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are expected to be affected. 
  • The storm is expected to cause significant rains which may lead to flash flooding as well as strong winds.

The national, provincial and municipal Disaster Management Centres in the provinces that are expected to be hit by tropical storm Eloise have activated their contingency plans and are preparing response measures.

Eloise, which had already made landfall in Mozambique is expected to reach South Africa by Sunday, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).

The tropical storm is expected to cause significant downpours which may lead to flash flooding, as well as strong winds in the northern eastern parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

In a statement, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said that the National Disaster Management Centre had convened a meeting of the National Joint Flood Coordination Committee, which forms part of the National Disaster Management Advisory Forum, on Saturday.

"The national, provincial and municipal organs of state shared details on the activation of their contingency plans and the activities they will follow in the coming days to prepare response measures, provide early warnings to the public and monitor the development of the storm," the statement read.

The Disaster Management Centres in the areas that will be affected are activating their disaster operations centres and will meet regularly with organs of state to coordinate preparations and response efforts where they become necessary.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma noted the updates on Eloise.

She also emphasised that, with heavy rainfall and storms expected to cause havoc in most parts of country, communities should be extra cautious and protect themselves.

"Members of the public are urged in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain their social distancing and practice other preventative measures.

"Government will issue further guidance and information through the various media channels in the coming days on the development and trajectory of the storm."

The department has urged that residents in the affected provinces:

  • Monitor the local news for updates on the development of the storm thereby raising their awareness of the developments to enable them to take informed and appropriate action where needed.
  • Prepare their properties, as far as possible for the occurrence of strong winds and severe rain by securing loose items.
  • Secure animals, livestock and pets in high lying areas.
  • Have potable water and non-perishable food for three days.
  • Secure key documents such as ID’s, bank cards in waterproof containers.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan and decide on when and where to evacuate.
  • Make special arrangements to provide for the needs of woman, children, people living with disabilities and the elderly.

Communities have also been urged to:

  • Stay indoors
  • Avoid low lying areas
  • Avoid the shores of rivers
  • Avoid dry riverbeds as flash flooding can occur suddenly due to severe rain upriver
  • Don’t cross rivers by wading or driving through the water
  • Don’t seek shelter under trees or use umbrellas when out in the rain, to avoid being struck by lightning
  • Act immediately if the evacuation order is given for your area.

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