The festive season was relatively peaceful for Joburg’s emergency management services, with flash floods on 16 December the main concern.
OTHER than the flash floods from heavy rains in early December, the City’s emergency management services (EMS) had a fairly quiet festive season.
Floods destroyed houses along the Klipspruit in KliptownFloods destroyed houses along the Klipspruit in KliptownThis is according to the EMS’s spokesperson, Percy Morokane, who said: “The only challenge we faced was the flash floods on 16 December, (but) we handled the situation quite well because we went to all the flooded places and made sure that everyone was taken to a safe place.”
Flood victims were moved to various community halls and sanitary products and other basic needs were handed out. On 20 December, Executive Mayor Amos Masondo led a group on a visit to every community in the city that was affected by the floods.
Starting in Alexandra, the officials witnessed first-hand the damage caused by the rain. From Alexandra, it was off to Orlando West in Soweto, where they saw the havoc caused by the water. The trip ended in Kliptown.
The water washed away houses, furniture, clothes, blankets, important papers and books.
According to Puseletso Mofokeng, a forecaster at the South African Weather Service, the rain was caused by a cut off low system, a cyclonic circulation system that separates from the prevailing westerly airflow and therefore remains stationary.
The circulation becomes completely separate from the basic westerly current and moves independently of that current. When this system hovers over a region it brings with it unusually cool temperatures and a heavy amount of rain.
Joburg’s EMS has 28 base stations, making it one of the biggest emergency services units on the continent. It covers an area of 1 620km2 and serves a population of almost 3,6 million. Central to its operations is the saving of lives and property. Its headquarters are in the Johannesburg metropolitan police department building, at 195 Main Road, Martindale.
The service can be contacted on 011 758 9530.
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