Severe impact warning of heavy rains as tropical storm Eloise reaches SA

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain in some parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga on Sunday.
The storm is expected to bring heavy rain in some parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga on Sunday.
  • The SA Weather Service (SAWS) has issued a Level 10 warning after tropical storm Eloise made landfall in South Africa overnight.
  • It came from Mozambique where, as a tropical cyclone, it had caused mild damage to property and flooding.
  • The SAWS has said between 100mm and 200mm of rain is expected in Mpumalanga and Limpopo overnight.

Tropical storm Eloise has reached South Africa, bringing with it heavy rain and strong winds, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).

The SAWS has since issued a "red level 10 warning" for the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga for Sunday into Monday due to persistent heavy rain.

This is the highest warning that can be issued and forecasts severe impact in the areas concerned.

"It made landfall sometime [around] midnight over Limpopo and currently it [the centre of the storm] is somewhere in Thohoyandou and the Musina area," forecaster Tokelo Chiloane told News24.

She said the tail of the storm was currently also affecting Mpumalanga.

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

There had been reports of some houses being blown away in Bushbuckridge and toppled trees in White River.

Chiloane warned residents of heavy downpours and flooding.

"There is 100mm to 200mm [of rain expected] overnight in Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the next 24 hours."

In a tweet, the SAWS said the persistent rain will put a serious strain on emergency services and residents should be extremely cautious.

National, provincial and municipal disaster management centres in provinces expected to be hit by tropical storm Eloise activated their contingency plans and were preparing response measures.

The department has urged residents in the affected provinces to stay indoors, avoid rivers and dry riverbeds and prepare for potential evacuations.

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlement, Urban Planning and Cogta Lebogang Maile said they had also activated their contingency plans and response teams.

"Even though the anticipated provinces to be affected by the storms are KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the Gauteng province has adequate capacity to be of assistance should the need arise," he said.

"Given the intensity of the heavy rainfall and storms which have already caused havoc in the neighbouring Mozambique, the three provinces have been identified as prone to the impact of the cyclone." 

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said their search and rescue division departed Ballito in the early hours of Sunday morning to meet with a team from Rescue South Africa in White River, Mpumalanga, in anticipation of the storm making landfall.

"The detachment from IPSS includes three 4x4 vehicles and three boats. Rescuers will then hold at a staging area at the Air Mercy helicopter service base in White River," he said.

"From the airbase, the rescue teams could deploy by helicopter to affected areas in Mozambique and be ideally placed should flash flooding - brought with the weather system - exact a toll on communities within our borders."

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