Tropical storm Eloise might have left behind a trail of devastation in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and parts of South Africa but it has brought a new lease on life to the Lowveld National Botanical Gardens in Mbombela.
The waterfall at the Lowveld National Botanical Gardens has risen for the first time in more than a decade. This attracted scores of people to the park much to the delight of business which has been adversely affected by the lockdown restrictions. The biosphere hosts various insects, plants and reptiles as well as hippos and crocodiles.
Eloise made landfall in southern Mozambique at about 2.30am on Saturday. It brought heavy rains and strong winds as it headed along the escarpment to the lowveld areas of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
Weather services said rainfall of between 50mm and 128mm was reported in these areas from 12am on Saturday, with many trees being uprooted, and there was damage to temporary structures and roofs were blown off houses.
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.
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.