Irina 400km east of Durban

2012-03-05 11:06

Cyclone Irina, which caused heavy storms over KwaZulu-Natal during the weekend, was hovering over the Indian Ocean some 400km east of Durban this morning.

The South African Weather Service predicted Irina would move further away from the country before tracking back during the middle of the week.

Spokesperson Elizabeth Webster said although Irina would turn back towards South Africa, it would remain offshore before heading south.

She said Irina was now classified as a moderate tropical storm and would later this week intensify to a severe tropical storm by the time it was expected to head south on Thursday or Friday.

Rainfall predictions across the province for the next few days were also expected to drop, with a 60% chance of rain expected along the KwaZulu-Natal coast and a 30% chance of rain in the province’s interior.

“We are expecting showers along KwaZulu-Natal until Tuesday. In northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, rainfall is expected until Thursday,” Webster said.

During the past few days, the most rain was recorded at Charter’s Creek in St Lucia’s iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, with 245.8mm falling on Saturday and yesterday.

Further south, Durban had 140.8mm of rain between yesterday and this morning. Webster said further rain could be expected on Thursday or Friday in Richards Bay.

At least four cyclone Irina emergency numbers released by the government were not in working order, according to a report today.

The department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs released 11 emergency contact numbers in a press release at the weekend, The Zululand Fever reported.

Four of these numbers – mainly in northern KwaZulu-Natal – were not in working order.

The department’s spokesperson Vernon Mchunu was made aware of the situation yesterday evening.
“(I will) inform the relevant people to look into the situation,” Mchunu was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said the numbers for Amajuba and uThukela had a fax-like tone, uMkhanyakude’s number did not exist and Zululand district’s number rang and then connected to an alternative line, which also rang unanswered.

Mchunu could not immediately be reached for comment this morning.

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