NSRI warns of Cape storms

2013-05-29 22:42

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Johannesburg - The National Sea Rescue Institute on Wednesday warned of rough seas and gale force winds in Cape Town, which are expected to last into early next week.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the Cape Town weather office had issued an advisory warning, and other weather centres forecast the heaviest rainfall for Saturday, with cold fronts expected over most parts of the province.

Weather24 has forecast that wind speeds will reach as high as 49km/hour on Sunday, while waves will reach a height of nearly 5m.

Huge waves of more than 6m are expected on Monday.

Lambinon said boaters, fishermen, paddlers, surfers and anglers were asked to take extra care before heading out to sea.

He urged everyone to heed weather warnings and to check official weather office sites before going out in the coming days.

No heavy rains is forecast in the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, the City of Cape Town called on all its departments to ensure the safety of its citizens, with winter looming.

The City announced its 2013 Winter Plan on Monday, which included a maintenance plan, emergency stand-by services and even help for NGOs.

Brett Heron, mayoral committee (mayco) member for transport, roads and stormwater, said: "Measures are already in place to prepare for any potential storm damage relating to the change in weather, such as flooding.”

He said the Cape Town is geared to deal with any major emergency or crisis events that require a multi-disciplinary reaction by specialised disaster response teams to safeguard the general public, property, environment and livelihoods.

The nine high-risk areas that are being prioritised include informal settlements in Fisantekraal, Philippi, Gugulethu and Strand.

Early warning

The City's Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Centre has entered into an agreement with the Swartland Municipality to institute an Early Warning System.

The agreement ensures that the City is notified in the event of heavy rainfall, which may result in the Diep River flooding.

Herron said: "We need the assistance of the public - they will be the first ones to notice a developing problem, such as a blocked drain.

If they raise the alarm early, it can mean the difference between wide-spread flooding and localised problems.”

The City appeals to residents not to dispose of waste into drains or stormwater systems as this will cause a blockage and create an overflow downstream.

Wilfred Schrevian Evan Solomons-Johannes, spokesperson for disaster management, said a number of City departments have prepared specific measures for this year’s Winter Plan.

This includes the maintenance by the roads and stormwater department, flood risk reduction measurements, information pamphlet drives, and an emergency stand-by service.

Mayco member Suzette Little said the social development and early childhood development will also provide additional resources and support to NGOs.

Read more on:    cape town  |  weather

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