Cyclone Dineo visits South Africa

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

News about the whereabouts of ex-cyclone Dineo has been circulating on WhatsApp, terrifying people with the news that "Dino will hit South Africa tonight".

Tropical storm Dineo has killed seven people in Mozambique since it hit the coast on Wednesday‚ the government's disaster centre said yesterday.

Cyclones are characterised by heavy rains and violent storms that can leave trails of destruction.

The storm‚ which was downgraded from a tropical cyclone yesterday morning‚ is expected to bring as much as 200mm of rain in 24 hours to parts of the two countries.

Dineo reached Inhambane, southern Mozambique, between 8:00pm and midnight on Wednesday, buffeting the town with winds in excess of 100kmh, torrential rain and rough seas, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).

Mozambique is especially vulnerable to flooding following a major drought past year.

The greatest effect in SA would be overnight on Thursday into Friday morning, with heavy rains over Limpopo, which includes Kruger National Park. Although the storm has weakened as it moves over land, remnants of it may still be felt in parts of South Africa.

"The likely impact is widespread flooding that could result in damage to roads and bridges, thus cutting off communities, displace others and straining the emergency services", the department said in a statement.

Subsistence maize farmers recovering from last year's El Nino-triggered drought are also at risk.

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