Flash floods, rain warning for large parts of SA

2017-02-20 17:27
A category 4 tropical storm has already started showing devastating effects across the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane, Mozambique. (Supplied)

A category 4 tropical storm has already started showing devastating effects across the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane, Mozambique. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has cautioned that the rainy weather experienced over the weekend is set to continue throughout the week.

Widespread showers are expected across central SA and the service has warned of possible flash floods.

The aftermath of the tropical depression, ex-Dineo, is still being felt since it first made landfall in southern Mozambique last Wednesday.

Two scheduled flights were cancelled last week on Thursday by Mozambican air carrier Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM).

In South Africa, the government's National Disaster Management Centre said that 20 houses had been damaged in Mpumalanga, and up to five houses in Limpopo.

Flood warnings have been issued for the eastern parts of Eastern Cape, southern KwaZulu-Natal, the southern and western parts of the Free State and eastern Northern Cape, and Johannesburg and its surrounding areas for Monday to Wednesday.

There's an 80% chance of rain for most of Gauteng, the Free State and the Northern Cape, while there's a 30% to 60% chance of rain for the rest of the central region - extending to the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal - also predicted for Monday to Wednesday.

A warning has been issued for Richards Bay and Kosi Bay for Monday, when gale force winds of up to 65km/h can be expected. Winds of 70km/h are predicted at Cape Point.

READ: Dineo aftermath: Stranded Zimbabwe families 'airlifted to safety' (PICS)

130 000 people displaced

In Mozambique, a total of seven deaths were recorded, 51 people suffered minor injuries, four were seriously injured, and an estimated 652 684 people were affected by the storm in the cities of Inhambane, Maxixe and surrounding districts.

Ex-Dineo left more than 130 000 people displaced in Mozambique. Telephone and electricity lines were knocked down by fallen trees, affecting communication in and out of the areas. Resultant flooding and strong winds were still being reported, while victims were left without water and energy supplies.

On Thursday morning, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi expressed his grief at the suffering of those affected.

In Zimbabwe, mop-up and rescue operations were in place after ex-Dineo flooded much of the country's drought-stricken areas. An area in the north of Zimbabwe has been devastated after crops and houses were destroyed by the storm. Bridges were also washed away.

Bulawayo's city council tweeted that a number of its dams were spilling over, with as much as 25% capacity gained in less than 12 hours.

A number of people were injured when the roof of a restaurant collapsed on them. Although the exact cause is currently unknown, it is suspected that the weather could have played a factor.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, this is the first cyclone to hit the province of Inhambane since February 2007, when Cyclone Favio left a path of destruction in the province.

Although ex-Dineo was downgraded from a category four cyclone to a tropical depression after making landfall, it has left devastating effects in its wake.

Read more on:    saws  |  weather

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