17 January 2013

South Africa: Early Warning of Heavy Rains Over Eastern and Northern Parts of South Africa This Weekend

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
Flooding leaves many homeless.

press release

The Tshwane Emergency Services would like to give out an early warning about expected heavy rain this coming weekend. The South African Weather Service has informed disaster management structures that there is a high likelihood of widespread heavy rains over North West, Gauteng, northern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga from late Friday, 18 January 2013, till Sunday, 20 January 2013. The rain will be caused by an intense low pressure moving in from Botswana.

As a result, rivers and streams might flow strongly and the danger of flash-flooding should be kept in mind. Heavy rains have been experienced over parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo earlier this week and rivers in these areas are already running high. These two provinces run the highest risk of flooding this weekend.

Precautions:

People living in low-lying areas must take special care during storms, as sudden floods might affect them.

Residents living next to rivers and streams must evacuate to a safer place or higher spot when the water level rises.

When you come to a flowing river where water reaches above your ankles, stop, turn around and use alternative routes.

Never try to walk, swim or drive in swift-flowing water; even if the water is 10 cm deep, it can sweep you off.

Do not try to drive over a low-water bridge if water is flowing strongly across it.

Educate your children not to swim in rivers, streams and ponds in open areas.

Do not drive during a severe storm - get a safe place to park, away from electrical lines, trees, streams and rivers.

Keep your important documents in a water-resistant container.

Have emergency numbers at hand (10177, 012 310 6300/6400).

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