SANParks to assess damage caused by Eloise
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.
⚠️A Red level 10 Warning issued for Eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga for today into tomorrow due to persistent heavy rain and more heavy rain expected tonight into tomorrow. This will cause serious strain on emergency services. Take extreme caution in these areas. pic.twitter.com/fwiQxkMMV6— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) January 24, 2021
#ExEloise (an overland depression) situated along the Limpopo and Botswana border. Its cloudy, windy and rainy over Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KZN and eastern North West province. #Eloise Heavy and/or persistent rain will result in flooding in northern KZN, eastern MP, SW LMP pic.twitter.com/qar4NGg1XB— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) January 25, 2021
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.
🌧️Some High rainfall figures (mm) (measured over the last 24 hours until 8 AM Monday 25 January 2021):— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) January 25, 2021
Charters Creek 205
Kruger Int 88
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.