SANParks to assess damage caused by Eloise

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jan 25, 2021

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Johannesburg - Authorities at the Kruger National Park have ordered a flyover to determine the extent of damage after tropical storm Eloise struck on Sunday.

The tropical storm was expected to hit parts of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KZN from Sunday, with heavy rainfall and wind.

The South African Weather Service had warned that the storm would hit parts of the Kruger National Park on Sunday and, as a result, South African National Parks placed disaster teams in the park on high alert.

On Sunday, the SAWS issued a Red 10 warning for parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, warning of persistent heavy rain on Monday. It urged the public to take extra caution as downpour would strain emergency services.

On Monday, the SAWS confirmed on Twitter there had been heavy rainfall in parts of KZN, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, with Charters Creek in KZN recording the most rainfall, at 205mm. This was followed by Komatiedraai at 127mm, Nelspruit at 116mm and Makatini, at 123mm.

SANParks spokesperson Isaac Phaahla said parts of the Kruger National Park had seen a significant rise in the river system from Sunday, and officials were monitoring the river levels closely.

He said wildlife at the park was unlikely to be affected by the storm as “nature takes care of its own”.

“What would often happen is that the wildlife will move to higher ground long before the storm arrives,” he said.

Phaahla said park officials were due to do a flyover to determine the full extent of the damage caused by the storm.

On Friday, Gareth Coleman, the managing executive at Kruger National Park, said some gravel roads and facilities in the Pafuri area had been closed after heavy rain last week.

He said people who had bookings at areas that had been flagged, such as Sirheni, Shimuwini and Bateleur Bushveld Camps, as well as Sable Hide, would be accommodated at Letaba, Mopani, Shingwedzi and Punda Maria rest camps.

** This is a developing story.

IOL

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