Weather warning: Heavy rain expected in parts of the country, motorists urged to exercise caution

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  • The SA Weather Service says several provinces will experience up to 80% chance of rainfall on Wednesday.
  • There were yellow level 2 and orange level 5 warnings for different parts of the country.
  • In the Eastern Cape, a private hospital in Queenstown was flooded.

Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, parts of Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal will experience high chances of rainfall on Wednesday, according to the SA Weather Service.

The weather service issued an orange level 5 warning for the Eastern Cape, which means the rainfall and thundershowers will be widespread in the province. It is expected to lead to flooding of roads and some settlements. 

For the eastern parts of the North West, Free State and Northern Cape, a yellow level 2 warning for heavy rains was issued. 

A yellow level 2 means the rainfall is localised, while orange level 5 means the weather conditions are widespread. 

"The impact [of the weather conditions] is not minimal where a yellow level 2 warning is issued. It means it will be isolated in the same area. The impact is severe, where we have an orange level 5, but it will be widespread.

"It has nothing to do with the severity of the weather," the weather office said.

It said some provinces would face up to 80% chance of rain.

Motorists have been advised to exercise caution on the roads.

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"It is not advisable to drive in flooded areas because you don't know what might be underneath the waterlog. There must be enough distance between cars... don't speed, so you can see what is happening in the front," said the weather service. 

Paul Fick, the spokesperson for the emergency medical services (EMS), told News24 several areas in Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape, were already flooded, including the local private hospital. 

Fick said the service responded to eight road accidents, including one on the N2, which involved 13 vehicles. 

"This morning, we responded to several accidents on the N2, involving 13 cars and two trucks. The municipal dump was on fire, and the smoke went on the road and caused a visual obstruction [and] vehicles collided. They were not fatal," he said.

Aid organisation Gift of the Givers is appealing to donors to assist with humanitarian relief, like hot meals, blankets and mattresses, after hundreds were displaced due to heavy rains in Komani.

On Wednesday afternoon, the organisation donated essentials from its East London warehouse. The coordinator, Corene Conradie, said residents were temporarily housed at neighbouring community halls.

The cooperative governance and traditional affairs department in KwaZulu-Natal said its disaster management teams were on standby to respond to incidents. 

"The department appeals to communities to exercise the utmost caution as the weather conditions do pose a serious risk to human life. Parents are urged to ensure that learners use safe routes on their way to school and coming back," said the department. 

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