16 January 2013

South Africa: Mpumalanga On Heavy Rain Alert

The Mpumalanga provincial government has warned residents to be to be on alert for heavy rains later this week.

Simphiwe Kunene, spokesperson for the province's Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, said the department had instructed all municipalities to be on full standby.

"The heavy rains could result in an increase of dam and river levels, thus making small streams and rivers very dangerous," Kunene said on Wednesday. "People are advised to move away from river banks, and they must avoid crossing full rivers and over-flowing bridges."

He urged parents to advise children who crossed streams and rivers on their way to and from schools to be on the alert.

"The department requests all communities to take precautions, especially those who are staying in low-lying areas.

"All road users are urged to be extremely cautious on the roads as they are wet and rocks might have fallen in some areas," Kunene added

"In case of any possible flooding, residents are advised to call the Disaster Management toll-free number 0800 202 507 / 0800 202 507."

Fourteen people died when a bridge collapsed due to bad weather between Ermelo and Lothair before the festive season last year. The victims were travelling in four cars when the bridge collapsed.

"All our 21 municipalities have prepared detailed plans and will ensure that all relevant officials will be on standby through the weekend. All relevant sector departments and agencies have also been engaged to ensure their preparedness," Kunene said.


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