Midlands: storm danger

2013-01-31 00:00

HEAVY rains and thunderstorms accompanied by potentially lethal lighting are expected across the province from today and going into the weekend.

Co-operative Governance (Cogta) spokesperson Lennox Mabaso warned people to take care during these storms and not to cross rivers. People living near rivers are advised to evacuate their homes.

“The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, through Cogta, has activated disaster response teams to be ready to react swiftly,” said Mabaso.

The Midlands is forecast to be one of the danger zones.

Said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube: “We have been warned by the weather­man that the intensity of the thunderstorms this weekend … is likely to be more ­severe. We urge drivers to pay extreme caution on the roads and avoid unnecessary trips during the storms.”

Dube urged parents to ensure that children do not play outside during storms and advised:

• Stay inside well-ventilated houses;

• Avoid using water during a thunderstorm;

• Cover shiny objects;

• Avoid touching metal objects, especially copper;

• Avoid using electricity and gas, paraffin equipment or fuel-powered generators;

• Avoid walking under trees and along waterlogged pathways;

• Switch off cellphones, TV and radio sets.

Weather forecaster Wisani Maluleke told The Witness there was an 80% chance of showers and thunderstorms over Pietermaritzburg throughout today.

“We are putting a watch in place for heavy rains,” he said. “The rainfall will continue into the early hours of Friday.”

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