#Dineo hits SA: Stormy weekend ahead
Cape Town - Officials in Mozambique say seven people died and thousands of homes have been destroyed in a tropical cyclone, that is currently working its way across the north of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Cyclone Dineo made landfall in southern Mozambique late on Wednesday and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. Emergency officials in Mozambique are reporting downed power lines and blocked roads in Inhambane, the province that suffered the worst impact.
Despite Dineo having decreased in intensity, the South African Weather Service warns high speed winds in excess of 50/km and heavy rainfall can still be expected as the storm "poses great risk" well into the weekend.
The South African government has called on communities to be on high alert for the knock-on effects and to take precautions especially ensuring children are safe and not crossing bridges or near possible rivers that are at risk of flash flooding.
Disaster management teams in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and in the Kruger National Park remain on standby.
Flood risks continue
SA Weather Services forecaster Wayne Venter told Traveller24 that while storm Dineo is dying out significantly after causing considerable damage in Mozambique, there are definite concerns about localised flooding.
“Localise flooding is still possible, especially in the eastern parts of the Limpopo province,” says Venter. The Lowveld and escarpment in Limpopo and Mpumalanga are likely to be most affected by the ex-tropical cyclone Dineo going into the weekend.
The entire southern Mozambican region, from Beira southwards has been hardest hit, but heavy showers and thunderstorms over the lowveld and escarpment regions of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, with as much as 100 to 200mm expected over the eastern half of Limpopo, remains for Friday, 17 February.
In the latter half of Friday, patches of heavy rain may also occur over the western parts of Limpopo province as well as northern Botswana, as the remnants of the low track progressively further westwards over the African subcontinent.
Heavy rain leading to flooding is expected in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga as well as in the Vhembe, Mopani and Capricorn Districts of Limpopo until Friday night.
Dineo will continue to turn into a low-pressure over Botswana on Saturday, patches of heavy rain is still likely to occur over the northern parts of Namibia and Botswana respectively.
Rainy weekend across SA
Added to this, it continues to be a rainy outlook for most of South Africa.
While Bloemfontein was hit was an isolate thunderstorm on Thursday, with an estimate 19 to 20mm of rain recorded at Bloemfontein Airport and city, wet conditions will continue into the weekend.
For the Free State especially, showers and thundershowers will increase quite significantly from Saturday evening, continuing well into Sunday, Monday and Tuesday says Venter. As an 80% chance of rain is expected across the entire province.
Scattered showers and thundershowers are also expected across the North West and eastern parts of the Northern Cape, southern and western parts of KZN, as well as the entire Eastern Cape, says Venter.
ALSO SEE: #Dineo is storming towards SA: Here's what SA motorists should do
See this map of Dineo affected areas in SA:
This is what the rainfall and flooding looks like across SA:
As the major risk associated with the storm will now be flooding in South Africa, the following safety tips need to be adhered to during flooding:
Do not try and cross flooded rivers or lakes.
About 66 % of flood deaths occur in vehicles, and most happen when drivers make a single, fatal mistake trying to navigate through flood waters. Even 4x4 vehicles are not safe under these conditions.
Do not drink floodwater since it may be polluted.
Stay away from collapsed power lines and cables after a flood as live electricity could still pass through them.
Turn off the electricity during a flood, because water is a good conductor of electricity and could cause electrocution.
Store away clean drinking water and food.
Listen to weather reports and instructions of local disaster managers. If necessary, evacuate the area.
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* This report has been updated to include weekend rainfall forecast for the rest of South Africa