Natural Disasters

National disaster declared in South Africa as extreme rains cause widespread damage

National disaster declared in South Africa as extreme rains cause widespread damage

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 Watchers

South Africa has declared a National State of Disaster due to the widespread impact of floods in several provinces, which have caused the loss of lives, severe damage to infrastructure, and affected homes and businesses. The flooding was brought by heavy rain affecting the region since February 8.

The heavy rainfall was produced by a cut-off low-pressure system that developed over the western interior on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, before moving into the central interior where it became quasi-stationary from Thursday until Saturday, February 11 before dissipating on Sunday.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) reported that ample tropically sourced air was advected southwards from northern Namibia and Botswana, where significant rainfall had occurred lately due to the presence of a tropical low called an ‘Africane’. Cut-off lows are notorious for causing severe weather over South Africa, such as heavy rainfall and flooding.

The extreme rainfall resulted in widespread flooding, with major rivers, especially those transiting the Kruger National Park and Lowveld, being in a full flood since the beginning of the weekend. The Escarpment and Lowveld regions of the Limpopo province and particularly the Mpumalanga province have borne the brunt of the flooding, with the southern half of the Kruger National Park particularly affected. Many low-water bridges and causeways, including the Crocodile bridge and the causeway at Lower Sabie camp, are flooded, while numerous main roads, including the main road linking Skukuza to Lower Sabie, are closed due to flood damage.

Furthermore, an additional low-pressure system over southern Mozambique and northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) significantly elevated the risk of flooding along the KZN coastline for Saturday night, prompting the South African Weather Service to broaden the Orange Level 9 Impact-Based warnings to include a significant portion of eastern KZN.

Overnight measurements of rainfall revealed that Charters Creek in KwaZulu-Natal received 242 mm (9.5 inches) during Saturday into early Sunday morning while Tshivhasie Tea Estate in Venda in Limpopo received 294 mm (11.6 inches) on Friday into Saturday morning.

Despite the cut-off low having weakened significantly, there is a fresh rain system currently moving into Zimbabwe today from the east, expected to move westwards in the coming days.

This system is a so-called east wind wave and is likely to herald a further episode of persistent and sometimes heavy rain for the northeastern and northern provinces, which are already saturated and rain-soaked following the heavy rainfall of the past week. An easterly wave is a tropical phenomenon, where tropical easterly flows result in disturbances that bring rainfall over the northeastern regions of South Africa. These waves in the lower atmosphere are usually associated with the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

The Government of South Africa declared a National State of Disaster on Monday, February 13, 2023, as widespread floods continue to wreak havoc in several provinces.

The floods have affected Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, the Northern Cape, and North West, resulting in flooded homes, vehicles swept away by floodwaters, overflowing dams and sewerage facilities, loss of basic infrastructure, damage to roads, bridges, and a Limpopo hospital. The floods have also led to the loss of lives, with two fatalities recorded so far.

The worst affected are Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

Heavy rains and floods have also impacted food production, with farmers experiencing crop and livestock losses. Unfortunately, further losses are expected due to the predicted continuation of heavy rains.

According to government officials, the floods were caused by the La Niña global weather phenomenon which is expected to persist during the early part of 2023, with the most significant impact on rainfall occurring during the mid-summer months.

According to SAWS, persistent and heavy downpours are expected to continue in the Lowveld and along the escarpment areas of both Limpopo and Mpumalanga. An Orange level 9 warning was issued for Monday, February 13 due to significant rainfall amounts in these areas over the last few days. Current high-resolution numerical models suggest further 24-hour rainfall accumulations of 100 to 200 mm (4 — 8 inches), especially along the escarpment of Limpopo on Monday and Tuesday, February 14.

Other areas in Limpopo and Mpumalanga will also see showery conditions, which may result in flooding because soil moisture content is high, and catchment and river systems are full. These severe impacts may occur especially over the Mopani and Vhembe Districts of Limpopo until at least Tuesday, resulting in prolonged strain on Disaster Management and emergency personnel.

The easterly wave is expected to weaken gradually starting on February 14, in the evening, resulting in the intensity of prolonged rainfall subsiding. Despite this, scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms are still expected for the remainder of the week for a large portion of the country.

Southern Mozambique has also been hit hard by heavy rainfall since February 8, 2023, resulting in significant flooding in Maputo City and the rest of Maputo Province.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, over 400 mm (15.75 inches) of rain was recorded at the weather station in Mavalane, Maputo in just 24 hours on February 8.

The floods have resulted in seven deaths and two injuries, with over 36 770 individuals affected, including nearly 20 000 residents in Maputo City.

The material damage from the floods has been extensive, with 7 365 damaged homes, 15 health centers, and 15 schools.

In addition to material damage to buildings, 17 740 ha (43,636 acres) of agricultural land has been flooded, impacting food production in the area.

At least 270 km (168 miles) of roads and paths and impassable


1 Cut-off low to bring widespread showers and flooding to central and eastern South Africa from Wednesday – SAWS – February 6, 2023

2 Heavy rain and flooding observed across eastern South Africa, with further rainfall anticipated for the northern and north-eastern provinces – SAWS – February 13, 2023

3 National State of Disaster declared on floods – Govt. South Africa – February 14, 2023

4 Seven dead, thousands affected by severe flooding in southern Mozambique – The Watchers – February 13, 2023

Featured image: Flood damage in Eastern Cape, South Africa — February 2023. Credit: Chris Hani District Municipality

But how can they call on him (Jesus Christ) to save them unless they believe in him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they believe in him (Jesus Christ) if they have never heard about him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they hear about him (Jesus Christ) unless someone tells them?” —Romans 10:14

In His Service,

Night Watchman

Paul Rolland

Night Watchman Ministries

Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Categories: Natural Disasters

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