More flooding expected as dams take strain

2012-01-19 18:10
Johannesburg - People living downstream of dams in Mpumalanga, Swaziland and southern Mozambique have been warned of more floods as dams overflow, the water affairs department said on Thursday.

A disaster management team was in Mpumalanga to help local authorities restore basic services to flooded communities.

Department spokesperson Linda Page said the Komati and Crocodile Rivers had risen substantially, but had not burst their banks.

The Driekoppies Dam was overflowing while Maguga Dam, on the Komati River in Swaziland, was almost 100% full.

"Affected communities downstream of the dams are being warned to move to safety on higher ground," she said. Some families had already been evacuated.

The Olifants river, on the border with Mozambique, was expected to reach its flood peak during the night or early on Friday.

"An alert has been issued to Mozambique warning of increased flow and possible flooding."

The Sabie River at Kruger Gate was subsiding while the Komati River was flowing strongly, but not overflowing.

The SA Weather Service had forecast a 30% chance of showers and thunder showers over the next 24 hours.

"We understand that the flooding was due to a tropical low pressure system that developed over the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar," Page said.

This low pressure system moved inland over the southern part of Mozambique, entering South Africa on Monday from Maputo.

The system, which brought heavy rain, covered the entire coastal region from northern KwaZulu-Natal to the northern areas of Limpopo.

- SAPA
Read more on:    polokwane  |  swaziland  |  mbombela  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  floods  |  weather
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