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The South African Weather Service has warned of wet conditions over parts of KwaZulu-Natal and its coast this week.
They said in a statement that South Africans could expect widespread rainy conditions from Monday evening over the central and eastern parts of the country.
“The rain is expected to become heavy (more than 50 mm in a 24-hour period) in certain areas as from Tuesday until Wednesday, leading to a serious risk of flash flooding.”
They said the areas which would 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.
Expected rainfall 24-hour accumulation (mm) for Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from Unified Model. Graphic: SAWS
“The increase in cloud tomorrow will also result in the lowering of daytime temperatures, especially over Free State and North West.”
The conditions, they said, would be as a result of an approaching trough (extension of low pressure) in the upper levels of the atmosphere interacting with the moist and unstable air from the tropics.
“Indications are that some places may receive as much as 100mm in a 36- to 48-hour period. This would result in potential incidents of flooding.”
In addition, they said, severe storms were possible on Tuesday in the north-eastern parts of the Northern Cape Province, where strong winds, hail and possibly heavy downpours can be expected.
“On Wednesday, the heaviest rain is expected along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal where there will be the added effect of the low-level onshore flow of the wind caused by the ridge of the surface high pressure system.”
The KZN MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube has placed her department’s disaster management teams on alert following the weather warning could lead to localised flooding in eThekwini, Ilembe, King Cetshwayo, uMkhanyakude and Ugu districts.
“We are urging our communities to take precautions and those who are planning to travel need to take into consideration the inclement weather. We have also instructed our disaster management teams to monitor key routes that are prone to flash flooding,” said Dube-Ncube.
As a result of this expected adverse weather, the public is made aware of the following impacts that can be experienced:
Flooding of roads and settlements;
Occasional poor road visibility;
Fast flowing streams;
Displacement of affected communities; and
Damage to property, infrastructure and loss of livelihood.
Precautions to take 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 feet 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; and
Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.