Jan 18, 2011

Flooding in South Africa

The rains have been pretty intense around here recently, though not nearly so much as elsewhere in South Africa:
According to South Africa's government, at least 40 people have been killed across the country and more than 6,000 displaced by flooding that has submerged houses, roads and crops since December.

Officials estimate the damage to infrastructure and agricultural produce will cost the country millions of dollars, and forecasters predict more rain is on the way.

The South African Weather Service said most of the country's rivers, dams and reservoirs have reached their capacity, and any additional rainfall is expected to cause further flooding.

Meteorologists blame the downpours on La Nina, a weather pattern associated with recent wet conditions around the world.
I'm in little danger here, as the Moshaweng Valley (which is usually dry) would have to flood to something like 100,000 cfs before it reached my house. (I am somewhat-selfishly hoping for at least a day of medium flow.) Further downstream, though, the Orange River is going gangbusters:
Another two people were missing and around 400 were evacuated after the Orange River flooded between Upington and Kakamas in the Northern Cape.

Spokesman for the Siyanda district municipality Gilbert Lategan said police divers and air force personnel were on the look out for two people apparently missing after walking near the flooded river.

Some 400 residents on 21 islands had been moved to higher ground or places of safety in the district in the past week.

At the Keimoes school hostel people were given food and shelter. Another 65 were been accommodated at the Roman Catholic hall at Kanon Island.

Some 100 people from Pokkies Island near Upington were also helped with food and shelter.
Here's hoping people stay out of harm's way.

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