By: Hertha Ekandjo
Namibians can breathe a sigh of relief as the Namibia Meteorological Services say that the floods currently sweeping through parts of South Africa and took over 300 lives is unlikely to affect Namibia.
“There’s no likelihood of that at the moment as we are already at the end of our rainy season. We are still expecting rain over the northern parts. It will be isolated to some places because Outjo also reported some rain of about 9mm,” said Odillo Gobetsi of the meteorological office in Windhoek.
He said some washes are still lingering over Namibia, but it is now towards the end of the rainy season.
“What happens is that when we enter the winter period is that the low-pressure system that is responsible for bringing moisture from the tropics already started moving over towards the northern part of Africa,” said Gobetsi.
He further stated that this then causes the high-pressure system which becomes dominant, causing dryness over Namibia. The likelihood of frontal systems is there because of the process sequence as we are in the winter season now. The sequence of the frontal systems will have an impact on Namibia. At times, we will have rain setting in over the country’s southern parts.
The increasing floods, especially the one currently in South Africa, are caused by cold air caused by the low-pressure system moving in over a region. In this case, over South Africa, causing a lot of disturbance in the atmosphere, resulting in many heavy storms.
He added that climate change is playing a role in the increase of floods, as there is a breakage in the system that is taking place. “Global warming and climate change are having an impact in general across the world, and with the General Circulating systems, they normally vary from area to area. So at times, climate change’s influence can prolong or delay systems to die out easily,” he said.
Homes and roads were swept away by heavy rainfall and mudslides in South Africa, Kwazulu Natal, on Tuesday, 12 April 2022, and dozens of people were killed. The South African local government says that at least 42 people have died on that specific day and warned that the number could rise.
Nonala Ndlovu, spokeswoman for the provincial disaster management department, said that the death toll in the province has since risen to over 306 people. This is said to be the heaviest in 60 years to pummel Durban’s municipality.
The Eastern Coastal Province Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said disaster management teams were evacuating people in the area that had experienced mudslides and collapsed buildings and where buildings have been swept away.
South Africa’s National Defence Force has been asked to provide aerial support where necessary. Scientists suspect that climate change is worsening floods and droughts along South Africa’s eastern coast.