Date:16 February 2017 - By: Isabel Venter
As parts of Mozambique are seeing the devastating effects of Dineo, which has since been downgraded from cyclone to tropical storm status after making landfall, the South African government has called on communities to be on high alert for the knock-on effects of the storm set to hit South Africa later today.
With heavy rainfall and wind speeds of between 50 and 60km/h being expected, government agencies and the emergency services are on alert. "We have activated all provincial emergency teams," said Legadima Leso, national spokesman for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which co-ordinates disaster and emergency responses.
Regarding the direct weather-related impact for South Africa, the South African Weather Service warned that heavy rainfall may occur in places over the northern Lowveld and adjacent escarpment regions of Limpopo from Thursday evening, 16 February. “The greatest impact, with respect to South African provinces, is suggested to be overnight Thursday and into the morning hours of Friday, 17 February, when heavy rain can be expected over the entire eastern half of Limpopo, including the Kruger National Park, where 100 to 200mm of rain could occur per day,” said the weather service.
The service predicts that by early Friday morning, the surface vortex of Dineo should begin dissipating in the region of Musina and Beit Bridge, with its remnants expected to drift into Botswana on Saturday, 18 February. Showers are, however, expected to continue over the Limpopo Province. “Rivers in the region will continue to flow quite strongly in the latter part of the weekend and into next week, as overland runoff takes some time to enter river systems,” the service warned.
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Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.