JOHANNESBURG – After tropical depression Dineo wreaked havoc in Mozambique on Wednesday andwas expected to reach South Africa on Friday, the government is leaving nothing to chance.
Four people have reportedly died in Mozambique since the storm hit on Thursday, destroying about 20,000 homes and displacing 130,000 people.
Although Dineo was downgraded from a tropical cyclone, it has nevertheless wreaked havoc.
Disaster management teams were on high alert on Friday morning as strong winds and rain as much 200mm were expected in Mpumalanga, northern KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said the likely impact of the storm was widespread flooding that could damage roads and bridges,thus cutting off communities, displacing people and straining the emergency services.
“Communities are warned about the dangers that the cyclone poses and are urged to be careful and take precautions as complacency might lead to loss of life,” Cogta said.
WATCH: Dineo blows into eMalahleni
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure has developed a plan to respond to any possible disaster affecting communities. The police and military have been roped in to assist.
“Recognising that failure to respond rapidly in a coordinated and coherent manner might lead to more destruction, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints), comprising various government departments and institutions was constituted,” Cogta said.
“The Natjoints has developed a plan that is currently being implemented, working in tandem with all the affected provinces. The three Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Provjoints) of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal are complementing the work of the Natjoints. The KZN Provjoint has been activated as a precaution, as there is a chance of impact by heavy rainfall in the northern parts of the province.”
The areas that will be directly affected, by district, are Ehlanzeni (Mbombela, Nkomazi and Bushbuckridge), Mopani (Phalaborwa, Tzaneen, Giyani and Maruleng) and Vhembe (Malamulele, Musina and Thulamela). This storms and rains will continue until late on Saturday, 18 February.