Public urged to remain vigilant as cyclone Eloise approaches

Public urged to remain vigilant as cyclone Eloise approaches

Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga residents are bracing themselves for Tropical Storm Eloise, which is expected to hit the local shores on Sunday.

Heavy rains and floods are expected to lash the Mopani and Vhembe districts, among other parts of the country.

The two municipalities say they are prepared for any disaster that may occur and are working closely with the national disaster management team.  

Mopani District Spokesperson, Odas Ngobeni, says they have roped in the health, and environmental health practitioners to make sure that the municipality observes lockdown regulations such as social distancing, in cases where individuals may be required to be evacuated to community halls. 

The Vhembe District Municipality Spokesperson, Matodzi Ralushai, is urging community members to remain vigilant at all times.

In KwaZulu-Natal, meteorologist Mkhushulwa Msimango says the cyclone could wreak havoc in parts of the province.

Msimango is also warning people to be extra careful on Sunday and Monday.

Meanwhile, power utility, Eskom, says it has made contingency plans to mitigate any risks and the possible impact on  infrastructure and the provision of electricity.

Mpumalanga, where most of the power utility’s power stations are situated, is one of the areas expected to be hard hit by the storm. Eskom Spokesperson, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, says the power stations will implement wet coal contingency plans should the need arise.

“Typically, heavy rainfall for four or less days does not pose a significant threat to power station operations, but continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days does hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them. There are some power stations in the Mpumalanga area that have been experiencing ash dam constraints. Continuous heavy rainfall over these power stations could hamper operations and recovery efforts already under way,” says Mantshantsha.

Disaster management authorities in Mpumalanga are also on high alert.

The cyclone is currently lashing parts of Mozambique. – Additional reporting by Maputuland FM News Editor, Philani Zulu.