Level 10 weather warning tropical storm eloise 12

Photo: SAWS

Tropical Storm Eloise: SAWS issue rare ‘Level 10 weather warning’

This is the real deal: SAWS has issued its most severe alert for South Africa – a Level 10 weather warning – as Tropical Storm Eloise intensifies on Sunday.

Level 10 weather warning tropical storm eloise 12

Photo: SAWS

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has implemented a scarcely-seen Level 10 weather warning for two provinces in South Africa, as Tropical Storm Eloise rips its way through the north-east of the country.

Tropical Storm Eloise update for Sunday 24 January

On Sunday afternoon, a statement from the meteorological authority explained that Limpopo and Mpumalanga are in for a rough ride over the next couple of days. The Level 10 weather warning came into effect from 13:00, and is likely to remain until 23:00 on Monday. SAWS warn that there will be a ‘serious strain’ for the emergency services during this time:

“A Red Level 10 Warning issued for eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga for today into tomorrow, due to persistent heavy rain and more heavy rain expected tonight into tomorrow. This will cause serious strain on emergency services. Take extreme caution in these areas.”

SAWS statement on Tropical Storm Eloise

What is a Level 10 weather warning?

As you’d expect from its ominous title, this particular alert is the highest on SAWS’ warning system. When a weather event is ‘highly likely’ to happen, and the forecasted damage is rated as ‘severe’, a Level 10 emergency is then declared. According to the experts, this means that there will be a ‘significant danger to life’ over the next 24 to 36 hours:

“Impacts are largely due to significant and/or prolonged rainfall that will lead to large-scale flooding of roads and settlements (formal and informal), danger to life (due to fast-flowing streams), displacement of affected communities, and some communities may be temporarily not accessible / cut-off.”

“Widespread transport routes and travel services may also be severely affected due to flooding of roads bridges. Additional impacts may include damage to property, the loss of livelihood and livestock, disruption to essential services (such as water or electricity), and isolated cases of breakages of informal or farm dam walls.”

SAWS info on Level 10 weather warnings