February 16, 2017; South AFRICAN Weather Service (SAWS) Chief Forecaster, Kevin Rae, issued a severe weather warning that; “a formidable storm system with the potential to cause much damage will reach tropical cyclone status within six (6) to twelve (12) hours.
“Dineo is expected to travel west into South Africa,” though “… should be weakening, but the Limpopo River flowing from Mozambique could be severely swollen and the risk of flooding could see communities ordered to evacuate.
“Parts of South Africa are facing severe rains and the risk of flooding over the next two days as tropical storm, Dineo, sweeps in from Mozambique,” said Rae.
The SAWS advised that; “the tropical storm hit Mozambique on Wednesday night with winds of about 130km/h and torrential rains resulting in widespread flooding.
“Southern Mozambique is particularly at risk, with very rough seas and the risk of storm surge around Massinga, Inhambane and Xai-Xai”.
With the storm moving west into South AFRICA SAWS warnes; “Heavy rain is expected over the entire eastern half of Limpopo, including the Kruger National Park, where up to 200mm of rain could fall on Thursday and Friday”.
SAWS’ Safety Tips;
Listen to the special warnings on the radio and TV, If at all possible stay indoors and off the roads, If you are indoors during a storm; stay away from windows and doors, Shelter in the strongest part of the house – internal hallway, bathroom or cellar, Secure everything that could be blown around or torn loose, Flying objects such as garbage cans and garden furniture can injure people and damage property, If the building begins to break up, protect yourself with a rug, mattress or blanket and shelter under a bench or table, If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so, Delay may make later evacuation impossible, Take an emergency kit with you, Disconnect appliances, You can use a cellular telephone, but it is not safe to use a corded telephone, If you must travel, do so with caution and let someone know your route and arrival time, Stay in your vehicle if caught on the road, with the handbrake on, Park well clear of trees or power lines that may fall on you, and away from low areas that might flood, Be aware of the possibly of fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Friday, February 17; The Government Commnications (GCIS) on behalf of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) issued a statment calling on communities to be on high alert as Tropical Cyclone Dineo lands in South AFRICA.
“To many, the news of an approaching Tropical Cyclone Dineo was unbelievable and to some it was not real until it made landfall last night in Inhambane, southern Mozambique. It was accompanied by strong winds exceeding 100km/hr as well as torrential rainfall and rough seas.
“Now South Africa (Mpumalanga, Northern KZN and Limpopo) is bracing itself for the same devastating results as seen in Mozambique last night. The rain from this system has now started affecting the north-eastern parts of South Africa from this morning.
“Rain has already begun in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality of Mpumalanga and is expected to become heavy as the night continues and spreading through other areas,” says Legadima Leso for CoGTA Communication.
The statement warns that; Ehlanzeni (Mbombela, Nkomazi and Bushbuckridge), Mopani (Phalaborwa, Tzaneen, Giyani and Maruleng) and Vhembe (Malamulele, Musina and Thulamela) are areas which; “are anticipated to be directly affected,” and that the; “storm and rains will continue until late Saturday, February 18″.
The expected level of impact will be severe with rain of up to 200mm in 24 hours and wind speed of just below 100km/h expected, according to the statement.
“The likely impact are widespread flooding that could result in damage to roads and bridges, thus cutting off communities, displace others and straining the emergency services. Communities are warned about the dangers that the cyclone poses and are urged to be careful and take precautions as complacency might lead to loss of life,” posists CoGTA.
In this light; “failure to respond rapidly … might lead to more destruction,” thus; “the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) comprising of various government departments and institutions (e.g. COGTA, SAPS, SANDF, GCIS and SAWS) was constituted”.
Disaster management teams are said to be; “ready” however; “It is important to note that … the success of the plans being implemented requires community to cooperate and adhere to the tips issued,” according to the statement.
Parents, care givers and guardians urged to ensure safety of children during the storms, In case of going to school; ensure that they are safe and do not cross flooded roads, bridges and rivers, Communities are requested not to cross flooded roads, low lying bridges and rivers, People not to underestimate the power of moving water, especially flooded rivers, Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers, If walking outdoors, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles, Just 6 centimetres of fast-moving flood water can knock a person off their feet, and a depth of 2 meters is enough to float a car, Never try to walk, swim or drive through fast-moving flood water, Stop, turn around and go another way, Listen to the special warnings on radio and/or television, Abandon your home immediately guided by relevant authorities if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water, Never drive into water covering the road; you would not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away, If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
“The NATJOC and all other teams dealing with disaster management will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this cyclone and storms,” said Leso.
February 15, 2017; Dineo cyclone starts in Mozambique. Town press SA:
February 15, 2017; Cyclone Dineo hits Mozambique. SABC Digital News:
February 15, 2017; Tropical cyclone Dineo downgraded to a storm. eNCA:
February 15, 2017; Cyclone Dineo over Mozambique – Update 5. Force Thirteen: