KZN cyclone threat 'not as extreme'

2012-03-03 22:49

Durban - The SA Weather Service announced on Saturday night that tropical cyclone Irina, which was expected to hit the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal this weekend, would not be as extreme as initially predicted.

"There is no indication that the storm will make landfall in the following five days," said spokesperson Hannlee Doubell.

"The storm retains a moderate tropical storm status."

She explained that the centre of the storm was moving eastward towards the ocean and would not hit land in Richards Bay.

"Due to its position relative to the coastline it will still result in heavy falls of rain over the southern part of Mozambique, Swaziland, Mpumalanga, and the east coast of South Africa which will create a risk of flooding in those areas," said Doubell.

Rough seas with waves in excess of four to six metres was expected from Richards Bay to Maputo, she said.

Disaster management teams across the province was on standby and they would be liaising with municipalities.

The Weather Service warned on Friday that the storm system would dump an "extreme" amount of rain on the region over the weekend.

"Areas around Kosi Bay, St Lucia, and Richard's Bay can expect up to 400mm of rain over this period," Doubell said at the time.

However, the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre was predicting Irina would make landfall further south.

It predicted that the cyclone would strike land slightly south of the Mozambican capital city of Maputo on Sunday afternoon and it would make its way into Swaziland before dissipating, but northern KwaZulu-Natal would be affected.

Gusts of wind of up to 111km/h could occur.

  • Hannetjie - 2012-03-04 00:47

    One year ago we moved from Richards Bay to Newcastle and returned to Richads Bay a month ago. In the last year we have experience flooding in Newcastle and even snow. Now with returning to Richards Bay the posibility of all the wheather conditions have left me in a spin. I lived in Richards Bay 22 years and never have we had a warning like this before, yet it doesn't scare me. We were suppose to experience strong winds, it is 1:45 am and the wind are blowing mildly! No one can predict ture events, take it as it comes. After the head the past week, i really are thankfull for the rain and cooler wheather as we have it richt now.

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-03-04 01:06

    I didn't think the "Service" would get it right, but I was really hoping for more than a drizzle in Durban.

      John - 2012-03-04 06:54

      Look again Heinrich, we have had some really nice rain through the night!!

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:00

      die weather service is shap,, om nature te voorspel is moeiliker as wat jy dink,, - 2012-03-04 17:15

      I think that this more than a drizzle heinrick

  • fishycraig - 2012-03-04 02:10

    Err, has this woman looked at a radar picture? The storm HAS made landfall. Blimey, has this country become like North Korea or something? I promise you Hannlee, you will not be arrested for reporting a warning.

      Shadho - 2012-03-04 07:58

      pmsl @ Craig posting 3 hrs plus the WS article LOL cyclones dont move huh! 3 hrs is a long time before you posted yr BS!

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:10

      ek stem saam met plop,, harpoon uneducated people

      Ben - 2012-03-04 11:02

      "There is no indication that the storm will make landfall in the following five days," said spokesperson Hannlee Doubell.

      fishycraig - 2012-03-04 11:50

      @ Plop. Firstly, my comment was tongue in cheek - something that swept right over your immature little head. Secondly, the storm had made landfall far earlier - go look at the radar pics of its history.

  • Charl - 2012-03-04 06:30

    haha told u so, thy can never get the weather right in richards bay, to me this is just a normal shower of rain. And i love it! Keep raining like this we need the water ! And wednesday it will be as hot as hell again!

  • Nero Moodley - 2012-03-04 06:40

    Weather SA has invested in a leading "world class" , "accurate" system which we now pay for. They are the only weather service that does this and that...bla bla bla. All I see after this system has been implimented is the most inaccurate reporting. Somebody has made a good few $$$ and gone off. Now there is this possibility of heavy fines to "other parties" issuing weather warnings etc....I think SA weather services should be fined R5m for bad reporting...and "causing panick"

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:03

      HOU OP HARTSEER WEES gan voorspel jy n biekie iets random soos nature slim jan

      Gwennie - 2012-03-04 13:53

      i think rather safe than sorry

      leoa.martins - 2012-03-04 13:57

      LOL...fortunately that bill hasn't been passed yet ;-)

  • Denjab7 - 2012-03-04 07:02

    I think SAWS is doing a hell of a good job. The projection of the path, travel times and landfall site of the cyclone have been fairly close and accurate from both SAWS and the Americans bearing in mind how difficult it is to predict those. Analysing various recent satellite images reveal that the eye of the cyclone is still at the Mozambican coast. However it is bringing these rains that people are talking about here. Rather the precautionary warnings than no warning at all. I'm glad that the impact is mild so far but that is not the the end of it. Land fall will be sometime on monday night or tuesday morning. Be grateful people that you get these warnings, unlike in 1984 when most of us were taken by total surprise.

      Shadho - 2012-03-04 07:14

      Touche Denjab...the ppl blogging above don't have a clue abt weather reporting and are sensationalizing nothing,,,,LOL

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:11

      lyk my hierdie stuped mense irreteer nie net my nie huh plop? maar daars meer uneducated mense so ons is out numbered

      Lara - 2012-03-04 11:43

      Mma, jy's een van daai sad kindertjies wat nie meer weet hoe om te spel nie, a.g.v. Mixit. Julle lyk nou regtig dom, hoor. Kom terug oor tien jaar en kom dan gesels saam met die groot mense. Toe, toe, jy't 'n game wat wag.

  • Shadho - 2012-03-04 07:04

    They clearly said the North Eastern Kzn, Mapumalanga Regions and surrounds can expect 400 mm of rain duh!! LOL...damn you ppl just don't understand weather reporting. As for the storm surge it happens often in RB so duh again! LOL! Oh btw its rained all night way south of RB too nothing more than a normal rainy night and probably day....Well done Hannlee!

  • Liz - 2012-03-04 07:07

    Check out if you want to see a good timelined graphic of this cyclone's progress. The wind speeds have dropped a bit but it seems they will be consistent for the next 36 hours or so. The Weather Service I think has done a good job with its warnings - it cannot predict the exact wind speed and rainfall for every little dorp in South Africa - local topography also has an impact on rainfall and what happens to all the water that hits the ground. That is why they are focussing their warnings on the low lying areas. Their warnings have been a huge improvement on what happened before Domoina in 1984 so give them credit for that!

      Shadho - 2012-03-04 07:11

      @ Liz..its not going to be anything like domoina, its a mere cat 1 cyclone if that presently ...gr8 watching it via satellite ..:)

      Liz - 2012-03-04 07:50

      I know that Plop and I am like Stirrer (below) very much hoping we will get some much needed rain! ... but even a few hours of driving rain can cause lots of problems in low lying areas and I think that is a real concern.

  • Stirrer - 2012-03-04 07:12

    Vryheid. We had about 1mm During the night. Hoped to get more so that our dams could fill up.

      Shadho - 2012-03-04 07:32

      @ Stirrer you probly get some run off water from this by say tuesday ish!

  • Jorrie - 2012-03-04 07:34

    Dit is hoekom dit 'n "voorspelling" genoem. Baie moelik om te "pin-point". Soos my oorlede Oupa altyd gesĂȘ het, "As jy nie wil lieg nie, hou jou bek uit die weer uit"!. Wyse woorde!

  • Ruth - 2012-03-04 08:07

    Sitting in Sodwana, beach has changed shape, huge swells, VERY heavy rain and wind. a bit more than a normal storm.

      Peter - 2012-03-04 09:17

      Guess you not going to be diving then? These conditions are interesting to experience though.

  • faannagel - 2012-03-04 08:47

    Does anybody knows whether the StLucia estuary is open to the sea? Please let us know. tnx.

      Peter - 2012-03-04 09:16

      Me too, I'm holding thumbs. Imagine the fishing if the lake fills up again and the estuary opens up to the sea again. It'll be spectacular! Maybe the heavy seas will wash away the big sand bank, and the lake will fill up and burst through. Bring it back to how it used to be - Charters Creek and Fanies Island can reopen. Only good news if this happens.

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:06

      hul het die mond begin oopgrawe toe die nuus kom van die sikloon

      Tamlyn - 2012-03-04 16:14

      Follow for all news on St Lucia

      Peter - 2012-03-04 17:44

      I tried Tamlyn but I can't get any site like that. Am I being doff or are you leading me down the garden path?

  • Jacqui - 2012-03-04 08:49

    You guys are being unfair. Storm Chasers and weather watchers will be able to tell you that the SA Weather can only predict as much as they know. Irina is doing her own thing, and making some really interesting changes and turns. Apart from her, there are a couple of weather systems on either side of her which are changing her movements by the hour!! Tropical storm and cyclone prediction is done by modeling, and as exact as it can be given the ever changing conditions around it.

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:07

      jup die mense wil net >> BLAME GOVERMENT meentime is nature n totaly random ding

  • Imraan - 2012-03-04 09:08

    It is raining Very heavily in Durbs now and has been raing steadily since about 7pm last night, this looks like lasting for a day more at least! Go to and track the Storm, have Live satelite images.

  • Liz - 2012-03-04 09:26

    Wasting your time Jacqui - far easier and personally more satisfying for some to blame the government!! I think the weather services are doing a very good job they report on the information they have. Maybe SA Weather Services should go the British route and give out what information they have and those amateur weather fundis can "model" a forecast for themselves!

      Mma - 2012-03-04 10:13

      true - 2012-03-04 17:19

      the prob is they dont understand the info they are given - check out the weather channel on dstv it is hopeless.

  • fanie.kuhn - 2012-03-04 09:33

    Fanie. Ons is in Richards Baai en dit reen laat dit klap. Ek het n rubber duck op stanby en opblaas vlerkies. nog nie wind wat sterk is nie maar baie reen. Was stil vir so uur maar het nou weer begin gooi.

      Peter - 2012-03-04 09:58

      Die vlerkies gaan seker gebruik word om weg te vleig van die vloedwaters af? All angles covered, you should be safe.

  • Mma - 2012-03-04 09:58

    hoekom is almal so emo oor verkeerde voorspelling? ek dink om nature te predict is bieq moeiliker as jou allerdaagse werk, maar eerste ding wat jul wil doen is die goverment blame

  • Tamsin - 2012-03-04 10:11

    Disaster management teams across the province "was" on standby, ai ai ai, grammer disaster, come one you guys are writers, most unprofessional! It has been raining on the south coast since 22:00 last night, and still is!

  • Sizwe - 2012-03-04 10:32

    what is going on at RichardsBay areas and Mpangeni...please update...also Durban, heard of any disastrous rain???

      Mbaleigh Lungy Msiza - 2012-03-04 10:59

      Read my comment above

      Peggy Ann Stoltz - 2012-03-04 11:59

      105Mm of rain at my home in Empangeni. still more to come.

      Aaliyah Mia Godden - 2012-03-04 16:13

      Breaking news: Just moments ago, a giant wave swept through suncoast casino and entertainment world, damaging property, and injuring hundreds of people. This according to weather24 form part of a string of giant waves headed towards the kwa zulu natal coast due to incoming cyclone Irene. Please broadcast this message and keep loved ones away from the coastline

  • kylie.cruickshank1 - 2012-03-04 10:53

    well i just heard that a huge wave hit suncoast casino, but cant find anything on it???? is it true or not??????

      Mbaleigh Lungy Msiza - 2012-03-04 10:58

      I just heard that too

      elbie.benedito - 2012-03-04 11:37

      any news on this?

      Thuli Khumalo - 2012-03-04 12:34

      I have also received a message on my BBM, about this huge wave which has hit Suncoast and a number of people have been injured. We would like to know if it is true before going to the Casino for lunch.

      Imraan - 2012-03-04 12:39


  • Mbaleigh Lungy Msiza - 2012-03-04 10:57

    There are pictures goin around on BBM showing Morning side here in Durbs flooded, cars damaged, and people who stay there are reporting it happened and that it also hit Suncoast, would upload the pics here if I could, not sure what to believe now.....

      Michelle Thomson - 2012-03-04 13:44

      Can't u add or tagg photos wana see

  • Jaqualine - 2012-03-04 11:02

    wave hit Wildcoast hotel, search and rescue have been sent in

      elbie.benedito - 2012-03-04 11:36

      any news on this?

      Hester - 2012-03-04 12:45

      People say Suncoast and you say Wildcoast wonder which casino it is anybody with more information

      Shadho - 2012-03-04 13:14

      Any feedback received? Are you an eyewitness or just passing on information?

  • Junaid - 2012-03-04 11:30


  • Junaid - 2012-03-04 11:32

    The windows are drilled shut, the dogs are sleeping in the guest room, the doors are sealed with silicone, got enough food for a week, bought the gas stove n fridge, its almost end of the weekend...Can someone please tell me where is that *#$@%$ Irena?????????????

  • Peggy Ann Stoltz - 2012-03-04 11:54

    From about 6 yesterday morning, till about 7 this morning, I have measured 105mm of rain at my home in Empangeni. wind seems to pick up and more rain on its way.

  • peterbrianring - 2012-03-04 11:59

    We've had 195mm in 24 hours in Sodwana Bay. Waves 4-5 metres. Wind about 50km/h.

      Fattabulous Nawa - 2012-03-04 13:34

      are the wave really high???could it turn into a tsunami OMG... Hope yall are okay hey

      Peter - 2012-03-04 17:32

      Cool. Dive concessions must be suffering a bit, I bet nobody is allowed to launch with big sea's like that. Probably be a bit of superficial damage to the reefs, luckily they're not too shallow.

  • Jaqualine - 2012-03-04 12:18

    Francois road heading up to Pavilion is flooding

  • - 2012-03-04 17:21

    I was really expecting something a bit more shocking for my first ever cyclone!

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-03-04 17:48

    The 1700 satellite photograph clearly shows the storm has separated into two individual storms. There is a possibility that should the northern storm re-enter the channel, it may restrengthen into a higher category storm. It appears the southern storm will dissipate after striking land.

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