South Africa

KZN disaster teams on alert as Eloise expected to reach intense tropical cyclone stage over the weekend

Durban - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has placed disaster management teams on alert as tropical storm Eloise approaches southern Africa.

On Thursday Eloise was making her way through the Mozambique Channel after leaving Madagascar.

KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka issued a warning about heavy downpours that could result in flooding in parts of KZN, particularly in the northern areas.

Disaster management teams were also placed in uMkhanyakude district to respond to all incidents related to the storm if necessary.

According to KZN Cogta, the disaster management teams will be monitoring areas in uMkhanyakude district that are prone to weather-related incidents so they can assist communities if need be.

Hlomuka urged communities in northern parts of the province to be vigilant and to take all necessary precautions.

Cogta also said the provincial disaster management centre continued to track and monitor the movement of the storm.

On Thursday afternoon, Météo-France said Eloise maintained a west-south-west track towards Mozambique, but its intensification had lagged behind their previous forecast which suggested that Eloise was showing signs of rapid re-intensification.

The meteorological agency said the moderate tropical storm had passed in the middle of the day in the immediate vicinity of the French island Juan de Nova in the Mozambique Channel.

“Eloise now presents a serious threat to Mozambique's coasts for the weekend. Eloise is in fact expected to become a very dangerous cyclone (intense cyclone stage possible) with impacts that can be felt at a distance from the center. A significant deterioration in the weather will set in from Friday and continue this weekend, with a landing scheduled for Saturday. Residents of the area are invited to immediately follow the instructions issued by the local authorities,” said Météo-France.

In the morning yesterday Meteo Madagascar said conditions at sea would remain undisturbed. Winds of 50km/h to 70km/h were expected to influence Madagascar’s central west and north west coasts with an active monsoon flow. The north-west was also experiencing heavy thunderstorm activity.

Storm Report SA reported that tropical storm Eloise had downgraded to a moderate tropical storm as she moved through the Mozambique Channel but was expected to strengthen drastically over the next 48 hours where she will reach intense tropical cyclone stage before making landfall over Mozambique on Saturday.

“Her current path has changed slightly to the north. She is now expected to make landfall just south of Beira, Mozambique. She will weaken into an overland depression and continue to track south-west into the southern parts of Zimbabwe early Sunday morning and eventually the northern parts of Limpopo around Musina Sunday afternoon,” Storm Report SA said.

Storm Report SA called on Mozambique to take note that Eloise was a dangerous cyclone that could cause havoc in the areas of landfall on Saturday. There would be a dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall and wind gusts of up to 210km/h can be expected.

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