Communities of the Lowveld in Mpumalanga and Limpopo have to brace themselves for tropical cyclone Freddy predicted to hit South Africa by Saturday.
Freddy, which currently has been downgraded into a tropical depression, will pass through Mozambique and Zimbabwe, before proceeding to South Africa.
The South African Weather Service says while it is monitoring developments, it urges communities to be on high alert and to take heed of warnings by their provincial and municipal disaster management units.
Tropical cyclone Freddy wreaked havoc in Madagascar, leaving a trail of disaster and four people dead. Since then, Freddy has downgraded its intensity and is now a tropical depression.
It’s expected to hit the southern part of Mozambique’s landfall by Friday. The wind speeds are expected to increase once it hits the warm waters of the Mozambique channel, with the potential to increase the intensity, returning into a tropical cyclone and causing maximum damage.
The cyclone is expected to hit South Africa by Saturday.
“The tropical cyclone will pass over Mozambique and from there it will go over Zimbabwe, only areas which are closer to the path of the tropical cyclone up until now our models are showing only the Lowveld of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, so the centre of the North West area they won’t be affected much,” says SAWS disaster risk reduction manager, Tshepo Ngobeni.
The recent disruptive rains in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, among other provinces, left the ground saturated, and vulnerable for localised flooding, and trees to be uprooted by very strong winds.
The South African Weather Service says while it’s monitoring the situation, they have alerted the provincial disaster management units to be on high alert.
“The impact will be the floods, strong winds associated with the tropical cyclone and torrential rains. The people of Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, More on the Enhlanzeni region of Mpumalanga, they need to liaise with their provincial and district disaster management units,” Ngobeni adds.
The Weather Service has urged residents in provinces predicted to be affected, to take heed of warnings from the provincial and municipal disaster management units.
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