MEC Basikopo Makamu confident of province’s readiness as Tropical Cyclone Freddy approaches

Limpopo COGHSTA MEC confident of province’s readiness as Tropical Cyclone Freddy approaches

Limpopo Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional MEC, Basikopo Makamu, says he is confident in the plans and multi-disciplinary teams in place in the Vhembe and Mopani Districts, as the province braces itself to respond to heavy downpours this weekend expected to be ushered in by Cyclone Freddy.

According to the South African Weather Services forecast, it is anticipated that the tropical cyclone will bring heavy rains over the two districts on Saturday and Sunday the 25 and 26 of February.

MEC Makamu has discouraged community members from traveling if not entirely necessary, but warned that if they do, they should avoid running water such as rivers and streams over roads and bridges.

“Our Provincial Disaster Management Centre is in contact with multi-disciplinary teams, made up of our District Disaster Management Centres, Fire and Rescue, Emergency Services, Department of Health, Department of Social Development, Eskom, Ward Councillors and others,” said the MEC.

MEC Makamu has also encouraged Traditional Leaders in these areas to play a role in these teams and assist to ensure the safety of residents.

“Our teams are ready for any eventuality, and we have evacuation plans in place in case of flooding. We encourage those located in waterlogged areas to be ready in case they need to be evacuated,” warned the MEC.

People should adhere to the following Safety tips:

• People living in low-lying areas must take special care during storms, as sudden floods might affect them. They should monitor the rising water levels and evacuate the areas to a safer place or higher spot when the water level rises.

• Do not cross through flooded roads or bridges – use other routes.

• Avoid crossing low-lying bridges, streams and rivers.

• Never try to walk, swim or drive in swift-flowing water. Even if the water is 15 cm deep, it can sweep you off your feet;

• Motorist must be very careful and avoid driving through flooded areas.

• Drive to and park at safer areas.

• The public must monitor weather alerts on radio and television.

• The public should contact their municipal disaster management centres or the nearest police station or call the national emergency numbers (112, 10177 or 107) when faced with threats.

• Do not try to drive over a low-water bridge if water is flowing strongly across it and the ground is not visible.

• Teach your children about the dangers of floods.

• Keep your important documents in a water-resistant container.

• Keep your cell phone in close proximity to you and have emergency numbers at hand.

• Be especially vigilant at night. It is harder to recognise potentially deadly road hazards. - Do not camp or park your car along rivers or washes, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.

• If you are on foot, be aware that low moving water can also be dangerous during flood conditions. If you come upon moving water, do not walk into it.

• Where possible, communities are encouraged to try to avoid contact with any flood waters. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, oil or other dangerous substances, and may also be charged with electricity from fallen powerlines.

Source: Government of South Africa