SA braces for more thunderstorms

The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) says disaster management teams will stay alert in all provinces as thunderstorms are expected to return to the country over the weekend.

Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces were the worst affected by the recent storms and rain, which have left numerous people dead, families displaced and people injured.

Severe rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms have resulted in major flash flooding in some parts of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng, leaving a trail of destruction in some areas. 

At least six people have been confirmed dead in KwaZulu-Natal as a result of the heavy rains, which resulted in flooding in some areas on Tuesday.

Cogta said the extent of damages in the two provinces required Joint Operations Centres to be activated immediately to coordinate and deal with crisis response holistically.

Cogta Minister Des van Rooyen has conveyed his condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. “You are in our prayers.”

The storms have regressed today and municipal and provincial disaster management teams are using this time to ensure that affected community members are taken to temporary shelters for safety.

Emergency service teams are conducting mop up operations to address emergency needs and restore critical services.

The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is in contact with provincial and local disaster management teams on the ground to monitor the situation and give support, especially in areas where more rains are expected.

Check weather updates regularly

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has indicated that more rains are expected on Saturday in some parts of our country.

These heavyrains can lead to flash flooding, overflowing rivers and dams, which affects low lying areas and bridges.

Members of the public have been urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on various media channels and platforms. They can also access updated information on www.weathersa.co.za and the SAWS Twitter account @SAWeatherService. The SAWS will continue to monitor further developments on the weather conditions.

“Government will continue to make efforts to do everything possible to assist communities but we urge everyone to be extremely vigilant, especially in the coming days and beyond amid the heavy rains still expected,” said Minister Van Rooyen.

The Department of Water and Sanitation will monitor the dams and rivers in the affected provinces where rains are still expected. The department said some dams and rivers have benefited from these rains, as many are showing signs of increase in volumes. - SAnews.gov.za