Capricorn District added to heavy rainfall watch

POLOKWANE – The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has included the Capricorn District in its heavy rain and flood watch.

SAWS, on Thursday night, tweeted that besides the Capricorn region, heavy rain leading to flooding is expected in Mopani and Vhembe on Friday.
Ex tropical cyclone Dineo made landfall near Inhambane, southern Mozambique between 8pm and

midnight on Wednesday, 15 February where strong winds, exceeding 100km/hr as well as torrential

rainfall and very rough seas were most likely the main weather related impacts.

SAWS says while no direct measurements of rainfall are available in the immediate area of landfall, given the extreme nature of the weather, satellite derived estimates of overnight rainfall strongly suggest that at least 100 to 200mm of rain (or even more) occurred overnight.

An infrared satellite image of ex Dineo (now overland) in southern Mozambique yesterday.

SAWS Chief Forecaster, Kevin Rae says because flooding is the major risk now associated with the storm, the following safety tips should be adhered to during flooding:
– Do not try and cross flooded rivers or lakes.

– About 66 % of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake trying to navigate through flood waters. Even 4×4 vehicles are not safe under these conditions.- Do not drink floodwater since it may be polluted.

– Stay away from collapsed power lines and cables after a flood as live electricity could still pass through them.

– Turn off the electricity during a flood, because water is a good conductor of electricity and could cause electrocution.

– Store away clean drinking water and food.

– Listen to weather reports and instructions of local disaster managers. If necessary, evacuate the area.

Rae says after a flood the following should be adhered to:

– Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
– Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
– Avoid moving water.

– Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.

– Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.

– Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.

– Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.

– Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

“The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required. Furthermore, the public is urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio,” he said.

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Raeesa Kimmie

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