UPDATE: Namibia warned of tropical depression

17 Feb 2017 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 17 FEB (NAMPA) – The Namibia Meteorological Service on Friday issued a warning of a tropical depression expected to hit from the northern regions on Saturday morning, with heavy rainfall and strong winds expected.
Speaking at a media briefing on Friday, Deputy Director of the Meteorological Service, Franz Uirab said heavy rainfall and strong winds are expected to hit the Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Oshikoto and Omaheke regions.
“Heavy torrential rain accompanied by strong winds reaching gale force at time are expected on Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” reads a joint statement from the Ministry of Works and Transport, Office of Disaster Risk Management, and Namibia Hydrological Services.
Uirab said larger parts of the Khomas Region, except the extreme western part, and larger parts of the Hardap Region will also be affected.
The warning follows Tropical Cyclone Dineo that hit Mozambique late Wednesday, South Africa on Friday morning and southern Zimbabwe with heavy winds and torrential rains on Thursday.
The cyclone has since changed in intensity and has been reclassified as a tropical depression.
Uirab said the heavy rainfall could range from 50 millimetres to 100 millimetres.
“So you can just imagine the impact it can have on the ground; it can cause floods and it can cause extensive damages to property and infrastructure,” said Uirab.
He said the depression will drift slightly to the Erongo Region, and bring rain to the south-eastern part of the Kunene.
The impact of the depression will be more pronounced on Sunday.
The statement says such a natural phenomenon is sometimes unpredictable.
“It is emphasised that cyclonic systems such as these abruptly change direction and intensity.”
Namibia should expect to feel the heaviest rainfall and strongest winds in the central and eastern parts.
“We are expecting the depression to fade away on Tuesday but by Monday afternoon, it will start to weaken,” said Uirab.
Namibians are advised to stock up on food and water enough for three days, remain indoors and unplug all electrical appliances during a storm, postpone inland travels and to not take shelter under trees or electrical infrastructure.