Monday, 25 January 2021 17:20

Staff Reporter.

Tropical storm Eloise has not had any major effect on Eskom’s operations as it wreaks havoc across Mpumalanga, Limpopo and parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

However, according to Eskom, the power utility will continue to monitor the storm and its impact on operations.

"On Sunday night, the storm passed through the transmission lines from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique without any incident. The high-risk sections of the transmission lines were reinforced after similar storms in previous years," Eskom said on Monday.

The risk, however, remains with the possible flooding of rivers and uprooting of trees in the areas surrounding the transmission lines.

"Operations at the power stations continue as normal, although Eskom teams will continue to monitor the progress of the storm and impact of the heavy rains.

"Typically, heavy rainfall for four or fewer days does not pose a significant threat to power station operations, but continuous heavy rainfall for more than four days does hamper coal handling at the power stations and the mines supplying them," the State-owned entity explained.

Eskom said it will communicate timeously should there be any significant impact.

However, the utility said power lines in some parts of the Mpumalanga, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu-Natal did experience localised outages because of trees and poles falling on power lines districts.

"Consumers in these communities are requested to be patient as our teams are working as fast as they can within the safety parameters during the storms to restore electricity."

Meanwhile, clients are requested to treat all electricity infrastructure as live and to report any fallen lines or pylons.

Eskom has called on residents to exercise caution when dealing with exposed cables, overhead power cables that may be damaged, collapsed or low hanging because of the stormy weather conditions, vandalism and illegal connections.

"Eskom also urges the public to use electricity sparingly during the storm to avoid unnecessary pressure on the system."

According to ReliefWeb, in Mozambique, where Eloise made landfall on 23 January, nearly 7 000 people have been displaced, while over 5 000 houses have been destroyed, damaged or flooded, mainly in Buzi, Dondo, Nhamatanda and Beira City.

"These numbers could rise in the days ahead as the full extent of the damage becomes known," said ReliefWeb, a humanitarian information service provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  

However, according to the information service, the Eloise weather system has since weakened into an overland depression and moved towards South Africa, bringing heavy rainfall to the far north of the country, southern Zimbabwe and eastern Botswana.

Eskom said any damages can be reported on 086 003 7566.

The City of Tshwane also said teams are on standby to respond to any outages and disruptions as a result of Tropical Cyclone Eloise.

In a statement on Monday, Tshwane Executive Mayor, Randall Williams, said teams across the City of Tshwane are working constantly to ensure that they respond to any outages or service delivery disruptions that occur due to rain resulting from the cyclone.

Williams said heavy rains and winds are disruptive to city infrastructure, as these weather elements can knock down trees and even street lights due to the severity of the storm.

"This can then result in power outages in different parts of the city. City of Tshwane electricity teams are on standby to ensure they respond speedily to prevent prolonged outages," Williams said.

The Mayor urged residents to be patient with the city, as the rains can result in multiple outages in different areas, which can severely stretch the capacity of the available teams.