WATCH: Cogta minister concerned as Eloise hits parts of SA hard
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has warned residents of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal to remain cautious amid the raging tropical storm Eloise which has affected the three provinces heavily.
This comes after two people have been confirmed dead while an unspecified number have been displaced due to the storm.
In a media briefing detailing the extent of the trail of destruction, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, KZN Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka, Limpopo Cogta MEC Basikopo Makamu and Mpumalanga Cogta HOD Peter Nyoni spoke of the storm’s damaging effects.
Dlamini Zuma said that the severe floods resulting from the tropical storm had disrupted the flow of traffic with trees having fallen on roads, although emergency services had quickly responded in removing those blocking roads.
“Some floods have cut off communities and the local municipalities are dealing with that, while some government buildings have been affected by the storm, including some of the bridges which have been destroyed, meaning that our people are not in those areas as they’re not able to cross.
“Unfortunately in Mpumalanga we have had one fatality, our condolences to the family. Our thanks go to the search-and-rescue teams that were able to recover the body, we thank them for their prompt action,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She added that they were continuing to track the storm and the South African Weather Service was on hand to provide more updates on the storm.
“The storm has now moved to southern Botswana, but we are informed that it will come back into South Africa again and more provinces like North West, the Free State and maybe KZN will be affected again,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She added that they were in the process of assessing the extent of the damage caused by the storm across all the districts where there had been flooding, although families that needed help had already been provided help.
The department said that it could not quantify the extent of the damage until the storm was over.
Residents of the three affected provinces were advised to avoid low-lying bridges and the department also appealed to motorists to avoid driving through flooded areas and parking near rivers and streams, to avoid potentially being swept away.
The public were advised to contact their respective municipal disaster management centres, nearest police station or call the national emergency numbers if they were faced with threats (on 112, 10177 or 107).
Parents were advised to teach children not to underestimate flooded rivers or see them as possible entertainment areas, as these could endanger their lives.