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KZN on high alert for possible floods this weekend

CHAOS: Motorists trying to negotiate their way through flooded roads

CHAOS: Motorists trying to negotiate their way through flooded roads

Published May 20, 2022


Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal coastal areas on high alert ahead of the heavy rains expected this weekend.

This comes after the South African Weather Service issued an orange level 5 warning for disruptive rain in the region.

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The warning, which will bring about angst among residents in the coastal province, comes just two months after severe flooding caused unprecedented damage to houses, businesses, roads and infrastructure in the province. The flooding also claimed over 400 lives.

The KZN floods of March 2022 were one of the most devastating natural disasters to ever hit the country. The heavy rains resulted in flooding, mudslides, and structural breakdown in coastal areas of the province.

This weekend, the Weather Service has warned that the rain could cause more widespread flooding that may once again damage roads, settlements and possibly lead to the displacement of more people in affected communities.

This as the province is still trying to recover from the recent flooding that claimed the lives of 448 people, led to the displacement of about 40 000 people and 72 people said to still be missing.

The South African Weather Service said: “Thunderstorms, combined with strong, gusty surface winds are expected over the central interior by Friday afternoon, spreading to Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal in the evening and parts of Limpopo by Saturday.

“Warnings in this regard will be issued if necessary. Due to the pre-existing condition of water-saturated soils in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, rainfall amounts exceeding 20 mm are likely to lead to localised flooding.

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“It is therefore important for communities to take the necessary precautions to prepare for such conditions,” the weatherman warned.

The weather service also said there would be chilly conditions in the western regions of KZN, with thunderstorms and widespread showers expected in the province.

The unprecedented KZN natural disaster two months ago also damaged infrastructures: roads, health centres, homes and schools, leading to great devastation in coastal parts of the country.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster following damages that amounted to over R1bn.

All 10 municipal districts, including the eThekwini Municipality metropolitan, were affected. The worst affected municipalities are eThekwini, Ugu, King Cetshwayo, iLembe, and uMgungundlovu.

Meanwhile, the weather service also said rainy and cold winter conditions were expected in other parts of the country.

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“Rainy conditions are expected to continue over the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga and the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal during Sunday; however, the public can look forward to a general clearing of weather conditions as well as a recovery in daytime temperatures from Monday onwards as the system exits the country,” said SAWS