Heavy rains affecting parts of South Africa since January 23 when Tropical Cyclone "Eloise" swept over the region has claimed more than 30 lives in the provinces of Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, and KwaZulu-Natal.
Eloise made landfall north of Beira, Mozambique, on Saturday, January 23, but heavy rains continued through the rest of the month and into February, leading to further flooding. Water levels on dams also continued to rise, prompting authorities to start releasing water from the Vaal Dam as of February 11.
Among the worst-hit provinces was Mpumalanga, where 10 fatalities have been confirmed by the government.
The victims died during the heavy rains that followed Eloise, which reached the province by the end of January. Most of the casualties were a result of drowning in flooded rivers.
Roads and bridges were washed away in Mbombela, Bushbuckridge, and Nkomazi, among other areas, according to the province’s Cooperative Governance Department (COGTA).
Downpours continued in the province in recent days, with Komatidraai recording about 130 mm (5 inches) of rain in a 24 hour period to February 13.
#HeavyRains Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane says infrastructural damage caused by heavy rainfall and floods in several parts of the province can be estimated at R425 million. RM
Picture cred : supplied pic.twitter.com/GCdnXHFB2y
— CapricornFM News (@CapricornFMNews) February 9, 2021
Taking my hat off for the Northern Cape Provincial Government. As it continues to ensure that relief reaches communities, who have been affected by the floods in our Province. More especially in the JTG District where communities have been harshly affected.@NCProvGov
— Bhuti Hams|` (@ZenzileSontlaba) February 9, 2021
Heavy rains brought by Eloise reached as far as Northern Cape from around January 27.
According to the provincial government, about three people lost their lives in the storm's onslaught. Flooding ravaged farms, damaged hundreds of homes, and washed away roads, particularly in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.
As of February 12, many roads were still flooded, prompting authorities to deliver relief supplies via helicopter. About 600 million ZAR or 40 million dollars is needed for repairs of infrastructure, humanitarian relief, as well as homes and agricultural aid, the government said.
In Limpopo, at least 10 fatalities were reported by the provincial government, while seven others remain missing. Search and rescue operations are ongoing, involving the South African Police Service
In KwaZulu-Natal, eight people lost their lives as a result of severe weather following the landfall of Eloise. Dozens of buildings were damaged, affecting around 400 people.
In a short period of time, more heavy rainfall caused flooding in other parts of the province from February 9. Areas of Ladysmith were particularly affected after the Klip River overflowed. As much as 87 mm (3.4 inches) fell in a 24 hour period to February 9.
Storm #Eloise made landfall in Mozambique. Initial indication suggests Buzi & Nhamatanda of Sofala province with thousands of hectares flooded. #RC teams on the ground doing assesments. South Africa & Zimbabwe predicted to be affected in coming hours. @IFRCAfrica pic.twitter.com/aVfobibJ9Z
— Dr Michael Charles (@DekunleCharles) January 23, 2021
#FloodPreparednessPlan The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation says it’s on standby to implement a flood preparedness plan in areas affected by floods in Limpopo. IMS pic.twitter.com/jISjRAl4nU
— CapricornFM News (@CapricornFMNews) February 12, 2021
Featured image credit: chave weather/YouTube
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