Media Statement: National Disaster Management Centre cautions people to remain vigilant of weather changes to anticipate flash floods

Pretoria, 29 March 2011 – The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs ministry’s National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has today cautioned communities to be on a continuous lookout for possible flash floods as threat of above-normal rainfall still looms over some regions until the end of the summer rainfall season.
 
The latest weather forecast indicates that the summer rainfall regions, especially in the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country, may still experience above-normal rainfall until the end of March and diminish as we enter into the winter season.
 
“ We encourage people to continue monitoring weather developments by listening to their local media and also to consult their local authorities for assistance in the event of flash floods as we have not yet passed the rainy season and possible above-normal rains are still in the picture”, said acting head of NDMC Modiege Sethusha.
 
Over the weekend several areas in Johannesburg and Pretoria were besieged by flash floods as a result of incessant isolated downpour experienced across Gauteng province.
 
Although no major damages were reported around the province as a direct result of the weekend rainfall, the following incidents were reported within the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality:Close to 100 shacks were affected by flash floods at Protea Glen informal settlement.
A 30-40 year-old woman has been reported as missing in Alexandra’s Setswetla informal settlement, emergency services officials are still searching for her.
A bridge was washed away at Sunninghill.
Low-lying areas at New Canada were flooded.

The NDMC is in contact with provincial and local disaster management teams on the ground to monitor the situation and give support where required.
 
People who stay in low-lying areas are encouraged to continue taking necessary precautions and monitoring the weather pattern for the duration of the summer rainfall season. The following precaution must be followed for one’s safety:
·       Continuously listen to local media for updated emergency information.
·        Be prepared to act immediately as floods, and flash floods in particular, can happen quickly without warning.
·       Follow instructions and advice from local authorities as they are best informed about areas that are likely to be affected.
·       In case of evacuation, leave affected areas timeously to avoid being engulfed by flooded roads, delaying leads to all escaping routes to be        blocked.
 
 
Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance.
 
For media enquiries or additional information please contact:
Vuyelwa Qinga (Ms)
MINISTERIAL MEDIA LIAISON OFFICER
Cell: 082 877 3898 / 012 334 0993