The City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (Jems) has noted with concern the warning message from the South African Weather Service that heavy rainfall leading to localised flooding is expected in most parts of Gauteng, including the City of Johannesburg over Easter weekend, Roodepoort Record reports.
This is according to spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, who said, “Jems will remain on high alert to make sure that we are able to effectively respond to any emergency which might occur throughout the City of Johannesburg. The main focus will be on the 189 informal settlements throughout the City, since we know that these communities are the most vulnerable to flooding incidents since many of them are located next to rivers and streams.
“Jems will be fully operational from Thursday going towards the weekend and Disaster Management Monitoring teams have been dispatched to all seven regions of the city to monitor any eventuality and facilitate any evacuation procedures whenever there might be a need to do so, since there is a possibility of localised flooding.
“Assisted by our Automated Rainfall Systems, which have been installed in the most critical areas throughout the City of Johannesburg, including Alexandra, Diepsloot, and Kliptown in Soweto, we will be able to disseminate messages to our residents for evacuation purposes. We want to urge residents in the low-lying areas to monitor water levels and move to higher ground when there is a need to do so. Residents are also encourage to listen to the radio and also following our social media platforms for the latest updates on weather conditions,” he concluded.
Safety tips to follow in heavy rain:
Motorists are urged to refrain from attempting to cross flooded bridges and roads. They should use alternative routes instead. They are also requested to extend the following distance between themselves and other vehicles, in order to prevent accidents on wet and slippery roads
Young children are urged to stay away from drainage systems and rivers to avoid drowning incidents.
Residents in low-lying areas are urged to keep an eye on water levels in their area and to move to higher ground when there is a need to do so, using the evacuation procedures provided to them to avoid being swept away by flood-water.
Listen to the radio and follow the council’s social media platforms – (@CityofJoburgZA on Twitter, or @City of Joburg on Facebook) for the latest updates regarding the weather conditions throughout the City.
For any life-threatening emergencies, residents can call 10177 from Telkom landlines or 112 from their cellphones. Alternatively, they can call the City of Johannesburg Emergency Call Centre on 011 375 5911.