Kruger Park evacuates some camps, closes roads as Cyclone Eloise hits

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Rivers overflowing in Kruger Park after Cyclone Eloise hits.
Rivers overflowing in Kruger Park after Cyclone Eloise hits.
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  • A number of main roads have had to be closed, bushveld camps evacuated, with rivers filling up and flowing strongly due to the heavy rains inflicted by tropical storm Eloise.
  • The wet weather is expected to continue beyond Monday, as predicted by the South African Weather Services.
  • The public is warned against the circulation of fake news that may cause panic and anxiety.

A number of main roads have had to be closed, bushveld camps evacuated and rivers having been filling up and flowing strongly due to the heavy rains inflicted by storm Eloise that hit Mozambique on Sunday.

According to the Kruger National Park, weather conditions are changing minute by minute, however they are on high alert as heavy rainfalls have been pouring throughout the day.

"Currently, there are heavy downpours, rivers are filling up and flowing strongly," Kruger National Park spokesperson Ike Phaahla told News24.

PICS | Cyclone Eloise causes flooding in Limpopo, KZN

Phaahla said that bushveld camps which had been evacuated were inaccessible. The road between Punda Maria and Shingwedzi in the park was also under water and closed, as well as the Mopani, Phalaborwa main road.

The Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said they also had been experiencing heavy rains, although no major incidents had been reported since the heavy rain started. Sporadic cases of damaged houses had, however, been reported at Mkhuhlu in the Bushbuckridge Municipality.

"All our disaster management systems remain on high alert," MEC Mandla Msibi said.

"Our roads are slippery and we urge road users to drive carefully," he added. 

Msibi warned that those in the proximity of rivers and dams should monitor the water levels and be ready to evacuate.

The wet weather is expected to continue beyond Monday, the South African Weather Service said. Nkomazi, Mbombela, Thaba Chweu and Bushbuckridge municipalities in the Ehlanzeni District have also experienced heavy rains.

In the Nkangala District, the Emalahleni, Thembisile Hani, Emakhazeni and Steve Tshwete municipalities have also been affected by the heavy rain. The Gert Sibande, Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme areas also recorded heavy rain falls.

Msibi further cautioned communities not to risk their lives by crossing bridges and walking under power lines.

The public is warned against the circulation of fake news that may cause panic and anxiety.

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