Friday, 05 March, 2021

Heavy rains, strong winds expected, as Severe Tropical Storm Eloise hits Zimbabwe

Cyclone spells disaster for KZN Southern Africa braces for impact as tropical storm Eloise intensifies
Deanna Wagner | 23 January, 2021, 23:26

"Moderate Tropical Storm Eloise is now in the northern part of the Mozambique Channel, a position that draws moisture from the southern parts of Zimbabwe. As a precautionary measure, we have already closed all gravel roads and some facilities in the Pafuri area after heavy rains which fell in the evening of 20 January 2021", said Managing Executive at the KNP, Gareth Coleman.

"As a precaution MEC Hlomuka has place disaster management teams on high alert just in case their services are required".

This will result in excessive rain and winds of 160km/h near the centre of the cyclone.

SAWS said the storm is moving west south westwards at a moderate speed of approximately 22 km/h.

The Tropical System named Eloise has strengthened and is now a SEVERE TROPICAL STORM, with indications of further strengthening in the next 24 hours. "While Eloise is in the warm waters of the channel it is expected to intensify and track south-westward before making landfall near Beira, Mozambique early Saturday morning January 23 2021", read MSD statement.

Limpopo and Mpumalanga will bear the brunt of the impact of the cyclone.

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The northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal can also expect heavy rains during Sunday.

Mpumalanga province is where most of Eskom's coal mines and some of its power stations are located, but it also has transmission lines that import approximately 1,000MW of power into South Africa from Cahorra Bassa in Mozambique that might also be hit by the storm.

SAWS warns that there is a severe risk (Orange Alert Level 9) for disruptive rain affecting Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Greater Giyani Municipality and Maruleng.

That is where we are expecting rains in excess of 50mm within 24 hours.

A level four yellow warning of a significant risk of damaging winds has also been issued by SAWS.