ALERT: Cyclone Dineo set to strike South Africa tomorrow

NEWCASTLE – Predicted as a tropical disturbance on Monday, Dineo has grown into a moderate tropical storm. The latest update indicated it had grown stronger than anticipated and had already ravaged parts of Mozambique.

Although, it lost momentum as it moved over the interior of Mozambique, the storm still left destruction in its wake.

After being cut off from the warm ocean waters, it slowly moved over inland Mozambique from east to west, after making landfall near Inhambane, Maputo last night.

The storm generated winds of 118km/h to 212km/h.
Tropical storm Dineo, approached the east coast of South Africa at mid-afternoon yesterday

Government agencies and the emergency services are on alert.

“We have activated all provincial emergency teams,” said Legadima Leso, Spokesman for the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, who co-ordinates disaster and emergency responses.

The department said they requested emergency and disaster teams from the police, defense force, provincial and national disaster management teams, traffic management and the departments of social development and health, to be on stand-by.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has predicted the first rain from the cyclone will fall on the Lowveld today and on the rest of the country tomorrow.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for co-operative governance Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the province’s disaster management teams were warning people that if the storm were as bad as predicted, they might need to take shelter in municipal halls.

“People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or asthma must ensure their medication was accessible, especially in the event of a quick evacuation,” she said.

The SA Weather Service has identified Ehlanzeni district, in Mpumalanga, and Mopani and Vhembe, in Limpopo, as high-risk areas.

Soon the storm will be reduced to a tropical depression that is the winds, though still strong, would not be too dangerous, but the real danger remains the potential for intense rainfall along South Africa’s northern border.

South-eastern Mpumalanga and Northern KwaZulu-Natal may experience.

Dineo is being closely monitored with further updates expected‚ the weather service said.

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Tersia Gopi

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