Dineo brings much-needed rain

MALALANE – Despite many Onderbergers bracing themselves for extreme weather and flash floods due to ex-cyclone Dineo, the tropical storm only brought torrents of rain and slightly higher dam levels. The Inhambane area of Mozambique bore the brunt of the storm’s considerable force last Wednesday and Thursday, with seven people killed and around 20 000 homes, lodges and other tourism structures destroyed. People took to social media for news of family members and employees, and to post pictures of the damage.

Several groups started gathering food, water and other supplies to take to people affected by the storm and many requests were sent out for even more relief aid.

Due to the unpredictable nature of tropical cyclones, which usually decrease in force over land, it was very difficult to predict which areas would be hit. Dineo ended up moving a lot more north than expected, with warnings issued for the northern parts of the Kruger National Park (KNP) and Limpopo.

As a precautionary measure, the KNP temporarily closed gravel roads and remote camps, mostly in the north. Guests in flagged camps were moved to safer ones and a disaster management team was set up for the duration of the storm. The roads were opened on Monday after they were declared safe. However, the H2-2 between H3 and S114 roads will be closed for maintenance until March 31.

The most rain was recorded on Thursday, with 65 millimetres at Mhlatikop, but certain areas in the Onderberg received a few more showers over the weekend. On February 17, Kwena Dam was measured at 48,2 per cent, Vygeboom at 100,7 per cent and Nooitgedacht at 100,9 per cent.

According to AccuWeather, the Malelane area can expect temperatures in the mid to high 20s, as well as thunderstorms over the weekend, while Komatipoort will experience temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s, with cloudy skies and possible rain showers.

Retha Nel

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