UPDATE: Dineo probably in Kruger by lunch says disaster management official

SKUKUZA – An official of the Provincial Disaster Management Centre said to Lowvelder that the effects of the tropical storm Dineo will most probably already be felt in the northern area of the Kruger National Park anytime from lunch onwards on Thursday.

He said that a severe weather warning was issued for the whole of Ehlanzeni District today .

He explained that the effect of the storm will be felt in the KNP from Mopani Camp to the north tomorrow but due to the “baggage” that the storm is bringing along in its track by the way of strong winds and rain, there is a possibility that it will be spreading to Skukuza in the South.

“There will be localized flooding in the KNP,” the official said.

He expects the storm to “dissipate by Saturday afternoon if it sticks to the track it is currently taking.”

He warned that there will be severe rainfall in Mpumalanga and localised flooding.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) has activated its disaster management team to manage possible incidents in the Park resulting from  the troppical storm.

Mr. Glenn Phillips, managing executive of the Park, said Dineo is being monitored at present.

The South African Weather Service issued an update on the storm’s development. Dineo has grown from a tropical disturbance on Monday to a moderate tropical storm. The latest update indicates that it may grow even stronger. It has been upgraded to cyclone status.

SA will begin experiencing rain from Dineo on Thursday over the Lowveld‚ moving west by Friday. Parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo are most likely to be caught in Dineo’s grip‚ with heavy rains and flooding later in the week.

“Current projections are that the Northern area of the Park will be most affected. Please avoid low level bridges and do not cross flooded bridges,” he advised.

He expects the cyclone to move into the Punda Maria, Letaba and Shingwedzi areas as from Thursday at 22:00.

Visitors who are already in the Park have been requested by Mr. William Mabasa, acting head of communications of SANParks, to stay close to the camps on their journeys into the Park so that in case of bad weather they can return quickly.

Visitors who have not yet entered the Park are requested to get into touch with the KNP Emergency Centre which will be operational for enquiries about the Cyclone from tonight.

He said that there is no need to cancel bookings but that a call for an update on the weather in the Park should be made by visitors still on their way.

KNP Emergency Centre: 013 735 4325

One last look on the satellite before sunset shows the outer bands of Cyclone Dineo crossing into Mozambique via Storm report South Africa.


When a storm hit Skukuza earlier this year

First Mpumalanga flood warning of 2017 issued in January


Elize Parker
Environmental Journalist Lowvelder

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