Residents living in the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal are urged to brace for heavy rains and severe thunderstorms predicted for Tuesday.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) issued a Level 5 alert over the northern areas of KZN from 10am on Tuesday. The inclement weather is expected to continue for most of the day.
The KZN Department of Cooperative Governance (Cogta) issued a warning for severe thunderstorms and lightning that could cause damage to infrastructure.
“Widespread showers and thundershowers are anticipated over most parts of the province. According to SAWS, severe thunderstorms are expected to be accompanied by heavy downpours, leading to flooding in some areas,” said department media liaison officer, Siboniso Mngadi.
He said municipalities to be impacted include Abaqulusi, Alfred Duma, Ladysmith, Dannhauser, eDumbe, eMadlangeni, Endumeni, Msinga, Mthonjaneni, Newcastle, Nkandla, Nongoma, Nquthu, Ulundi, and uPhongolo Local Municipality.
“The department has activated all disaster management teams in the mentioned municipalities and a joint operation cluster that involves all stakeholders with whom we collaborate on disaster response,” Mngadi said.
Residents are urged to take proactive safety measures to minimise the impact of these predicted thunderstorms. Areas that are low-lying are at high risk due to the heavy downpours expected.
“We advise residents to relocate to safer areas and stay indoors. If outdoors, seek shelter immediately, but avoid hiding under trees, telephone poles, and power lines. Motorists are advised to refrain from travelling during this period,” Mngadi said.
ALS Paramedics spokesperson, Garrith Jamieson, further urged motorists to keep their headlights on and ensure that they have ample time to get to their destination.
“With the Level 5 warning issued today for heavy rains and thundershowers, we are urging motorists to take cautions. Please allow yourself extra time and leave a bit earlier to reach your destination on time. We have deployed more ambulance vehicles in the event of any road crashes,” he said.