5 December 2017

South Africa: Be Vigilant in Rainy Weather

With the widespread rainy conditions over the central and eastern parts of the country this morning, the South African Weather Service says the rain is expected to become heavy in places until Wednesday, leading to a serious risk of flash flooding.

The areas which will be mostly affected will be central and eastern North West, northern and north-eastern Free State, Gauteng, southern Mpumalanga, as well as north-western KwaZulu-Natal and the Midlands.

The increase in cloud on Tuesday will also result in lowered daytime temperatures, especially over Free State and North West.

"Indications are that some places may receive as much as 100mm in a 36-48 hour period. This would result in potential incidents of flooding. In addition, severe storms are possible on Tuesday in the north-eastern parts of the Northern Cape province, where strong winds, hail and possibly heavy downpours can be expected," said the weather services.

The heaviest rain is expected along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday where there will the added effect of the low-level onshore flow of the wind caused by the ridge of the surface high pressure system.

The weather services urged the public to take note of the following precautions during flooding:

- If walking outdoors, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.

- Just 15cm of fast-moving flood water can knock a person off their feet and a depth of 60cm is enough to float a car.

- Never drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away.

- If trapped within a vehicle by rising waters, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.

- Listen to special warnings on radio/or television.

- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.

The South African Weather Service said it will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system.

Updated information on weather forecasts can also be found at www.weathersa.co.za as well as on the SA Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherService.

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