Kruger rains: ‘worst is over’

2012-01-19 15:43

No heavy rains are expected in the lowveld areas of Limpopo and Mpumalanga for the rest of the week.

This after heavy rains, which started on Tuesday, caused gate closures and numerous evacuations in the Kruger National Park area.

“For now it looks like the worst is over. The subtropical storm Dando, which started in the Mozambican channel and moved to the eastern lowveld of South Africa has now dissipated,” said Edwin Thema, weather forecaster at the South African Weather Service (SAWS).

“We are not expecting any more rain but if it happens that there is more, the rain will only last for a few hours.”

Thema warned, however, of another tropical storm developing in northern Mozambique. It looks to be moving towards southern Madagascar and South Africa would not be affected.

Said Jean-Pierre Le Scour, a resident of Ressano Garcia on the border between Mozambique and South Africa: “The rain was really bad yesterday and last night it was very heavy which interrupted communication lines but today the sun is out and it looks like it’s clearing. There are many roads which have been destroyed and I heard them say there’s an 80% chance of rain tonight.”

South African National Parks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said: “The situation is under control with the park now being 80% functional. The SANDF (South African National Defence Force) and the Mpumalanga Disaster Management are on high alert.”

Thakhuli said most of the water had subsided. It would only be possible to determine financial losses once it had done so completely.

“The guys on the ground are still assessing the damage. No major injuries have been sustained and the necessary evacuations have been made. All major infrastructure is still intact although some areas are not receiving water due to water pipe damage.”

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