The KwaZulu-Natal Department for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs says disaster management teams are on standby, following an alert from the South African Weather Service indicating the possibility of heavy rains and thunderstorms with localised flooding.
From Illing Road in #Ladysmith #KZN this afternoon ? Kwanele Nkwanyana #rainfall #flooding #sawx @ReenvalSA @Weather4Africa @SAWeatherServic @JoelGuy_ @venter_annette @MariusSoU @StormHour @UlrichJvV @TheMercurySA @EmilevanRooyen2 @Themeteoguy @StormWatchSA pic.twitter.com/EsgEuCssfw
— SAWX South African Weather ⚡ (@sawx_sa_weather) December 8, 2018
Provincial department spokesperson Lennox Mabaso says bad weather patterns tend to leave a trail of destruction every year, the department is therefore urging communities to take precautions.
Mabaso has urged people this weekend to stay indoors and off the roads – if possible – and avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above one’s ankles.
“The severe weather warning of course is not taken light, as you will know that in this particular province we are still reeling from the death of two people that were struck by lightening in the area of Umzumbe yesterday. We are issuing warning to all our citizens in the province to remain on full alert and to exercise extra caution because this inclement weather is very dangerous.”
Emergency services across Gauteng are also on high alert after the South African Weather Service issued severe storm warnings with a high risk of flooding for the province. Both the City of Joburg and the City of Ekurhuleni have issued warnings to residents, especially those in informal settlements, urging them to avoid low-lying areas and alert authorities of any weather-related emergencies like damaging downpours or flashfloods.
City of Joburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi says residents in low-lying areas should monitor water levels and move to higher ground if needed.
“We also want to urge our motorists to drive safely. Avoid all the flooded roads, avoid trying to take a chance crossing flooded bridges so that we can minimise incidents where vehicle might be swept away furing this heavy rainfalls. From our side as emergency services we will remain on high alert monitoring all 7 regions of the city to make sure that we can be able to respond to any emergency that could occur as quickly as possible.
Heavy rain expected for parts of South Africa | 08 and 09 December 2018 pic.twitter.com/BE90xiXhnN
— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) December 6, 2018