South Africans are warned to beware of a tropical storm Dineo which is expected to hit the shores of the country before the end of the week.
By early Wednesday, 15 February, the tropical storm Dineo is expected to escalate to an intense cyclone‚ with thrashing winds‚ according to weather update by the South African Weather Service.
Dineo has grown from a tropical disturbance on Monday to a moderate tropical storm. The latest update indicates that it may grow even stronger as the days go by.
“The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) La Reunion has updated the expected evolution of tropical Storm Dineo which is now expected to reach Tropical Cyclone stage‚ [with] winds of up to 118-165km/h‚ early on Wednesday.
“Further intensification is expected and the storm will reach the Intense Tropical Cyclone [stage‚ with] winds of up to 166-212km/h around midday on Wednesday‚ before making landfall at midnight near Inhambane in southern Mozambique‚” the weather service said in a statement
On Tuesday evening, scattered thundershowers are expected to develop over the country’s central‚ south-eastern and eastern parts. Through this, South Africa will begin to experience heavy rainfall from Dineo on Thursday over the Lowveld‚ moving west by Friday.
Parts of Mpumalanga‚ Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal are most likely to be caught by the Dineo with heavy rains and flooding later this week.
“Whilst there is much uncertainty regarding the location and timing of the storm’s impact within South Africa‚ the most likely areas to be affected include the Ehlanzeni district (including the Kruger National Park) in Mpumalanga as well as Mopani and Vhembe districts in Limpopo‚ before spreading to other districts in Limpopo‚” the weather service said on Monday.
At the time, the storm has continued to strengthen over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel overnight. The storm has now sustained winds of around 90km/h around its eye with gusts reaching 120km/h.
The only landmass currently experiencing significant effects from Dineo is the tiny uninhabited island of Europa, where average wind speeds of over 80km/h were being reported this morning.
Here are some safety tips you can adopt during storms like the tropical storm Dineo
- Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords, including devices plugged in for recharging (consider unplugging valuable electronics in case of power surge)
- Water conducts electricity, so avoid contact with plumbing
- Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches
- Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls
- Avoid natural lightning rods, such as tall isolated trees, and avoid isolated small structures in open areas
- Avoid contact with metal, including farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts and bicycles
- If you are driving, safely exit or pull over and park; do not touch any surface that conducts electricity in or outside of the vehicle
- Never drive through a flooded roadway
- Avoid storm-damaged areas
- Help people who may require special assistance
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately
- Watch your pets closely; keep them indoors if possible