Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, has called on communities to remain on high alert after the South African Weather Services (SAWS) at the weekend issued a level 6 warning for disruptive storms in the province.

The Office of the Premier in a statement said municipalities that are to be impacted have been notified.

These include Elundini, Dr AB Xuma (formerly known as Engcobo), Great Kei, Ingquza Hill, Intsika Yethu, King Sabata Dalindyebo, Matatiele, Mbhashe, Mbizana, Mhlontlo, Mnquma, Ntabankulu, Nyandeni, Port St Johns, Sakhisizwe, Umzimvubu.

SAWS predicted that heavy rains would fall from last night and could continue for about three days.

Four to six centimetres of snow is also expected to fall in areas around the Drakensberg. Disaster management structures in the affected municipalities have been activated and are preparing for any eventuality.

“We must be ready to immediately assist communities should the need arise,” said Premier Mabuyane.

According to SAWS, a steepening upper-air trough, surface trough and a ridging high pressure system are expected to result in windy conditions with showers and thundershowers across the province from Sunday into Tuesday where the significant amounts of at least 40 to 70mm can be expected in places over Buffalo City Metro, Great Kei LM, Mnquma LM, Mbhashe LM, OR Tambo DM, Alfredo Nzo DM.

Flooding of roads, settlements, low-lying areas and bridges with disruptions of traffic flow and municipal services, as well as damage to property, infrastructure and loss of livelihood. Mudslides and rock falls are possible. Damage to mud-based and make-shift houses or structures.

The Premier further called on communities to listen for regular weather updates via radio and/or social media. “Motorists should consider postponing their travel arrangements to avoid being caught in a dangerous storm.”

“Pedestrians must avoid crossing rivers, low lying bridges and swollen streams. Monitor the weather conditions and if need be, identify areas to safely store valuable items from flood water,” said the OFTP.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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