More than 32 people have been killed, more than 2000 households affected and South African coal exports sector have been hampered in what some call
one of South Africa’s most relentless storm bouts.
This has left 400 to 500 informal settlements damaged and coal prices have soared to a 28 month high.
Most of the country’s dams are much over their 100% capacity and dam engineers have been left with no choice but to open sluice gates and send water
downstream in a bid to release pressure on the dam.
More to come
The local weather service has issued warning on the news of flash floods in Gauteng and Pretoria (central, northern South Africa). According to the
weather service approximately 5200 m3 (5.3m litres) per second is expected to fall upon the already flooded area. With one of SA’s largest dams
aready burst its banks, more large river are expected to follow as sluice gates are kept open to release pressure on dams.
Towns such as Ladysmith (hometown) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which hasn’t flooded in the last 10-12 years are now flooding.
16 areas have been declared as flood prone and local residents are being warned to evacuate as the water rises.
“In Maputo, lightning killed eight churchgoers on Sunday with a separate storm and floods raising the death toll to 12, Mozambiquean police and
state media said yesterday.
“The group was meeting under a tree when the thunderstorm started,” said Belmiro Mutadiwa, a provincial police spokesman.
A disaster management official said on January 7 that heavy rain in Mozambique in the next two months could cause massive floods comparable to the
devastating downpours that killed 800 people in 2000.” –form the original artice.
Though South Africa has a long and rich history of heavy rainfalls and general floods, it is seldom on this scale and, worst, so relentless. The land
is not getting enough time to soak up the water because of the heavy dry spell.
Farmers around SA have said that they could see a difference in the weather pattern in the last 5 years and are struggling to pinpoint its new
pattern. No doubt there will be severe crop damages, not to mention those to properties.
The biggest concern now is to get people out of the flood prone areas, worse still, those below a dam wall under pressure.