Teams on high alert as severe thunderstorms predicted for northern KZN, Newsline

Durban – KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has placed disaster management teams on high alert following an advisory issued by the South African Weather Service indicating severe thunderstorms expected over the northern parts of KZN by Thursday evening.

“Residents of Zululand, uMkhanyakude, Amajuba and King Cetshwayo districts are urged to take the necessary precautions as this inclement weather conditions bring the possibility of lightning, hail and strong winds coupled with heavy rains,” he said.

Hlomuka has placed all disaster management teams in the province’s districts on standby in case any incident takes place. The teams will also be monitoring areas prone to localised flooding.

Hlomuka has further urged residents in the affected districts to take the necessary safety steps when the anticipated changes in the weather conditions take place.

“We urge residents, particularly motorists and pedestrians, to be careful. Our province has lost many lives due to lightning strikes and floods and we call on people to make sure they do not cross flood-prone walkways or bridges,” said Hlomuka.

Meanwhile, heavy rain has fallen over parts of Gauteng and Polokwane.

According to SAWS, snow, widespread spring rain and storms are among the severe or extreme weather phenomena to be expected today and in the coming days. Weather service spokesperson Hannelee Doubell said: “Already a cold front accompanied by a steep upper trough made landfall over the Western Cape on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in isolated to scattered showers and rain in the south-west.

“Further snowfall may be expected over these regions on Friday. Over the Western Cape, cold, overcast and windy conditions with heavy rain and localised flooding will dominate the circulation pattern.

“Weather developments are being monitored closely and should the need arise, radar-based warnings will be issued accordingly for areas considered to be most at risk. Coastal ocean users should also exercise caution, with very rough seas expected as a result of strong winds associated with this system. Marine gales and high sea conditions will also affect much of the Western Cape coastline.”

Teams on high alert as severe thunderstorms predicted for northern KZN, Newsline
A massive tree was uprooted in Freesia Street in Goodwood, due to strong winds. The tree fellers believe as a result of previous root trimming, the large tree was not able to withstand the strong winds experienced on Thursday. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)