UPDATE: KZN government braces for Dineo

THE KZN government has issued a statement, warning residents to take precautions ahead of tropical storm Dineo’s landfall.
MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube said: “One of the strongest cyclones in the Indian Ocean named Dineo is expected to hit the neighbouring country of Mozambique and impact on three provinces within SA, namely Mpumalanga, Limpompo and KwaZulu-Natal. Reports suggest that the cyclone has now sustained winds of approximately 90km/h around its eye, with gusts reaching a maximum of 120km/h. All available information suggests that Dineo will rapidly intensify into an intense tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours, while moving closer to the southern Mozambique coastline and from there to towards the north-eastern edge of KZN.

This is likely to cause various life-threatening situations – high seas, localised flooding, river overflows, wet roads, rural road small bridges damages, reduced visibility on the roads and mud house collapses can be expected in this regard.

In our province, we are advised that the impact will largely be in the northern parts, covering areas such as uMkhanyakude and Zululand district,” she said.

“As the province of KZN, we are leaving nothing to chance. We are escalating our preparation for this cyclone. As the government, we are urging communities located in the areas in the northern parts including uMkhanyakude and Zululand district and extending to the entirety of KZN to be aware and prepared for the passage of cyclone Dineo from Thursday going towards the weekend.

We have placed all our disaster centres on high alert for the cyclone and are concentrating more resources in terms of human resources and logistical support to the northern part of the province. We want to emphasise that this is not panic mode, it is rather preparedness mode.”

Read here: What to do if you’re caught in a cyclone-level storm

A joint operations centre in uMkhanyakude has been set up to handle any emergencies that may arise. Stationed at the centre are ambulance services, SAPS search and rescue, disaster management, the Red Cross, Alimdad, municipalities and provincial departments.

“We are keeping all the stakeholders on alert in case there is a need for extra capacity to intervene and this includes the participation of the South African National Defence Force, which will be activated via the relevant channels.

We are appealing to people to start with preparations, such as being ready to evacuate when asked to do so. Persons with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and asthma must ensure that their medication is easily accessible, especially in the event of the need for a quick evacuation.

The only way to mitigate any likely disaster is for communities to be prepared. Municipalities must monitor roads, people must restrict movements and motorists must not take unnecessary risks including attempts to cross low-lying rivers or any river for that matter as it may be flooding. In this instance, I urge all citizens to take Dineo seriously and prepare accordingly.

Communities are warned of the possible risks and are advised to stay indoors most of the time until it is safe to venture outside.

They are also advised to stock up on canned food that may be enough to last while the inclement weather is happening. Such extreme weather can cause problems for electricity supplies to homes, so having torches ready is important.

Water supplies to homes may be impacted due to flooding so plan to have enough water for drinking and cooking, even to flush toilets.

The public is urged to be careful as windows and doors may be damaged due to strong winds.

Drivers must fill up their cars with fuel so that they can travel to safer areas.

We reiterate that this is not intended to make people panic, but to be aware of the possibilities of the weather situation currently being observed.”


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Erin Hanekom

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