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TROPICAL STORM ELOISE UPGRADED TO CYCLONE, SEVERE RAINS EXPECTED IN NORTHERN KZN, DISASTER MANAGEMENT TEAMS ON HIGH ALERT

KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has warned residents in the uMkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo and Zululand districts of severe heavy rains that are expected there as a result of the tropical storm Eloise which is to further intensify from its current status and become a tropical cyclone.

The storm is currently located in the central part of the Mozambique Channel and its impact in the province is expected to start from Sunday going into Monday.

The latest forecast from the South African Weather Service indicates that severe disruptive rain could be expected in the Big Five-Hlabisa, Jozini, Mtubatuba, uMhlabuyalinga, Abaqulusi, eDumbe, Mthonjaneni, Nongoma, Ulundi, uMlalazi and uPhongolo municipalities.

The areas that are expected to be severely affected could receive significant amounts of rainfall (exceeding 100mm) and possibly strong winds. This could cause widespread flooding of roads and settlements. It could also cause damage to infrastructure and properties.

Hlomuka has placed disaster management teams on high alert as the inclement weather conditions pose a serious risk to human life. “We are very concerned about these weather patterns that are developing. We are appealing to our communities to limit their movement as roads in these areas could be flooded. Our teams will be monitoring areas that are prone to floods,” said Hlomuka.