Hundreds have been left homeless.
DURBAN – More than 100 homes in the KwaZulu-Natal province have been completely destroyed after cyclone Eloise hit parts of South Africa over the weekend and on Monday.
Despite the erratic nature of cyclone Eloise, there were no reported deaths as a result of the storm, according to KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Sipho Hlomuka.
Hlokuma said that the Jozini area in the uMkhanyakude district, in northern KZN, bore the brunt of the storm, as almost all of the wards were affected.
“Our latest information indicates that, so far, a total number of 280 households and 916 people. There were approximately 175 completely destroyed houses and 110 partially destroyed houses,” Hlomuka said in a media briefing on Tuesday.
Thirty-five families in the uMkhanyakude district were left homeless.
Tropical storm Eloise, which started just off the Madagascan coast early last week, reached cyclone status after entering the Mozambique Channel at the end of the week.
Heavy rains flooded parts of Mozambique, leaving cities under water and hundreds of families destitute. The city of Beira, in just 24 hours, received 240mm of rain, according to Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM).
The storm’s trajectory, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), suggested it would hit the north-eastern parts of South Africa, mainly the Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KZN provinces.
After heavy rainfall on Sunday, a house collapsed in the Esilweni area in Abaqulusi, Zululand District, resulting in two injuries. The boys injured in the collapse were treated in hospital and have since been discharged, Hlomuka explained.
In addition to the collapse, Hlomuka said there was a reported drowning incident in Abaqulusi, where a 14-year-old boy died.
“The details are still sketchy as this incident took place late yesterday. We express our condolences to the affected family. Our teams are providing support to them,” Hlomuka added.
Around 80km north-east of Abaqulusi, in the uPhongolo Municipality, a total of seven homes were destroyed in wards 7, 8 and 9. A further six homes were partially affected by the storm.
“Our teams are still cautious as more rains are expected in the course of the week, according to the South African Weather Service. We continue to monitor the situation on the ground as conditions are expected to become potentially more dangerous as the ground is already saturated with excess water from the rains,” Hlomuka added.