Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre on high alert during heavy rains

The South Africa Weather Service (SAWS) issued a warning of heavy rain expected to persist in Gauteng, the western parts of Mpumalanga, eastern parts of North-West as well as the eastern parts of the Free State until today, Friday, 23rd March.

At 08:00 am yesterday morning an impact based early warning on flooding of roads and settlements, danger to life due to fast flowing streams and deep water and major disruption of traffic flow due to major roads being flooded was issued by SAWS. In Gauteng, the areas affected by the heavy rains per SAWS are City of Tshwane, City of Joburg, Ekurhuleni, West Rand and Sedibeng District municipalities.

Head of Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) Dr Elias Sithole mentioned that PDMC together with municipalities remain on high alert. The disaster management centres in the affected municipalities have been activated and are on standby, he highlighted. Dr Sithole further mentioned that disaster management response teams are assessing the situation at these municipalities. The City of Joburg reported a few incidents of flooding. These are from low-lying areas and those near rivers, Sithole said.

The PDMC together with Municipal Disaster Management Centres (MDMC) are working around the clock to intervene and offer aid where needed. We however urge residents, especially those situated on low-lying areas to be vigilant during this time and take necessary precautionary measures, Sithole highlighted. He further urged motorists to be cautious on the roads and not cross overflowing bridges.

Unfortunately, floods are natural disasters and no human being can do anything to prevent them. The best all of us could do is work together to offer aid to those in need in times like these, Sithole said, adding that PDMC has thus embarked on various programmes to help reduce the risk of disasters and I hope everyone is taking the heed to the education by the Centre to stay clear of disaster-prone areas and reduce the damages, accidents and deaths that may be caused by disasters.

Sithole reiterated that PDMC disaster response teams remain on high alert to assist and deal with any incidents within the Province.

Source: Government of South Africa