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Cyclone Dineo activated disaster management centres

Cyclone Dineo's intial path (GDACS), placing emergency management centres on alert for response in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.
Cyclone Dineo’s initial path (GDACS), placing emergency management centres on alert for response in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.

According to the SA Disaster Management Act, a National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) has to integrate and co-ordinate loss prevention.

Provincial disaster management centres contact telephone numbers are, mostly toll free:

KwaZulu-Natal 0800 000 953 /4 or 033 897 5612 /897 5028 /897 5660 or web or twitter on https://twitter.com/GDCoGTA

Limpopo 0800 222 111

Eastern Cape 0827746596

Free State 0828256514

Gauteng 0729338977

Mpumalanga 0800202507

Northern Cape 0824667672

North-West 0183883888

Western Cape 0835771100.

The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGta) in KwaZulu-Natal operates the province’s disaster management teams.

Gauteng CoGTA said the scope of its disaster management centre has been broadened to include natural and man-made disasters, including major industrial, mining, chemicals or transport disasters.

At least seven people have died in Mozambique, with more than 130,000 people displaced and 20,000 houses destroyed in the storm.

Most of Mozambique’s Inhambane coast was directly in the storm’s path. Dineo had been classed as a category four cyclone.

Other states and agencies have warned Mozambicans that the cyclone could bring winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour (an estimate from a disaster management centre in Nepal), with the likelihood of rainfall of more than 100 millimetres in 24 hours.

Having started over the weekend, the storm has quickly escalated to cyclone status. The provincial capital Inhambane city, and the districts of Zavala, Inharrime, Morrumbene, Homoine, Panda, Maxixe, Massinga and Vilanculo as well as further south, in Gaza province, Bilene, Chokwe, Guija and Manjacaze districts, were on high alert.

As tropical Storm Dineo made landfall, the SA government activated its own national disaster management centre (NDMC) and the national joint operation centre (NATJOC).

Initial damage in Imhambane, Mozambique (Twitter Cyclonecentre).
Initial damage in Imhambane, Mozambique (Twitter Cyclonecentre).

Cyclone Dineo was expected to also hit Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

The role of national government is to provide guidance and support to the provincial and local governments in developing their capacity for dealing with disasters, and to provide physical assistance if requested.

According to the Disaster Management Act of 2002, a National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) is tasked with promoting an integrated and co-ordinated system of disaster management, and with special emphasis on prevention and mitigation.

The NDMC has several roles in a natural disaster:

[] Act as a repository of and conduit for information on impending disasters and disaster management;
[] Liaise and co-ordinate its activities with the provincial department and municipal disaster management centre;
[] Establish communication links with foreign disaster management agencies, to exchange information and have access to international expertise in and assistance in respect of disaster management.

A cyclone damage scene in Mozambique (Twitter Cyclonecentre).
A cyclone damage scene in Mozambique (Twitter Cyclonecentre).

Appeals for assistance must be directed to the NDMC. Response and mobilisation of resources is facilitated by the NDMC.

Vulnerable South Africans bear the brunt of severe weather and often homes are destroyed or washed away due to flash flooding.

Motorists under-estimate flooding risks

Change your route plan if there is a change of flooding. Never drive into water covering the road. You do not know how deep it is, or if the road is washed away. Even relatively shallow water could float a car into deeper water. Turn around and go the other way.

Avoid flooding at highway dips, bridges and low areas, and at night. Do not be pressured by the haste or hooting of other motorists.

If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.

Do not park your vehicle along streams, particularly during threatening conditions.

In buildings under risk of flooding, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level.

Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building. Keep emergency equipment such as torches, cellphones, ropes and drinking water with you.

In rural areas protect or relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground.

Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water.

Listen to the radio for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

  • See the Mauritius national disaster plan at:  http://environment.govmu.org/English/DOCUMENTS/NDS%20EDITION%202015.PDF
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