Description of the disaster
On 24 January 2021, Tropical Storm Eloise made landfall in South Africa after it was predicted by the South African Weather Service to cause disruptions in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu Natal. The tropical storm also extended to other provinces without causing any damages but increased run-offs. The floods triggered by the heavy rain reportedly killed four people in South Africa. Across all the three main affected provinces, some of the homes were damaged or destroyed and families were separated during the floods. The floods damaged infrastructure including roads, bridges, equipment, and amenities which led to the disruption of the routine functioning of this facility in the affected areas.
The tropical storm resulted in the displacement of 3,200 people (640 households) in Mpumalanga, KZN, and Limpopo provinces. The affected communities were evacuated to the identified evacuation centres including schools and churches. Although timely evacuations were conducted, evacuation teams faced challenges of resistance from other community members. The dams in the three affected provinces were reported to be full and were overflowing heavily. Some water pumps were reported to have been washed away by floods in the affected provinces. According to the Hydrology unit, accumulated rain greater than 20mm was recorded in Limpopo and Mpumalanga from the 25th of January and more than 100mm recorded from the 26th of January. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), local district and provincial municipalities and disaster management centres, and SARCS embarked on joint assessments to assess the impact and needs of people affected by the floods. In addition, the joint assessments which were conducted in the three provinces were crucial to ensure well-coordinated response and relief to avoid duplication. The table below outlines the impacts caused by the storm in the three provinces.
This DREF Operation was launched on 02 February 2021 to respond to the immediate humanitarian needs of 1,500 people affected by tropical storm Eloise through the provision of emergency shelter and essential household items, health care, WASH and food security for three months. The operation ended on 31 May 2021.