Late rains bring re­lief

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Larry Bent­ley

GOOD rains, al­though late this year, have been wel­comed by the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

Mea­sure­ments of be­tween 96.6mm (St Lu­cia) and 149mm (Gingindlovu) were recorded in Zu­l­u­land.

Rain­fall dropped off dramti­cally in the north with Hluh­luwe re­ceiv­ing only 13.3mm (the low­est) and Ny­lalazi (north of St Lu­cia) 66.8mm.

Oc­to­ber kicked off with good show­ers with Fred Lubbe record­ing over 150mm for the month on his farm out­side Em­pan­geni.

Most ar­eas re­ceived over 50mm and cane har­vest­ing op­er­a­tions have not been ad­versely af­fected.

Rain has caused the Goed­ertrouw Dam to fill up slightly.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Water Af­fairs and San­i­ta­tion's Water Con­troller Of­fi­cer at the Goed­ertrouw Dam, Vin­cent Makhaye the level was 47.1 per­cent on Fri­day morn­ing.

This could in­crease slightly as water is still flow­ing into the dam from the catch­ment area.

The mois­ture has been crit­i­cal, as un­sea­sonal winds have cre­ated crit­i­cal fire con­di­tions over the re­gion.

Nor­mally the winds pick up in Au­gust and sub­side by the end of Septem­ber, but this has not been the case this year.

Air­craft de­lays

FOUR air­lin­ers were di­verted at the Richards Bay Air­port last week ow­ing to the heavy rains and thun­der­storms that hit the prov­ince.

Richards Bay Air­port Man­ager, Os­car Nz­ima said the di­ver­sions were a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure to en­sure the safety of all pas­sen­gers.

‘The pilot makes the call to di­vert the plane if they are un­able to see the air­port run­way clearly,’ he said.

Nz­ima said that di­ver­sions are nor­mal pro­ce­dure when an air­liner can­not land at an in­tended air­port.

SA Ex­press which op­er­ates on the route be­tween Richards Bay and Jo­han­nes­burg con­firmed that two of their air­lin­ers were di­verted.

‘SA Ex­press flights trav­el­ling from Richards Bay were af­fected dur­ing the morn­ing and the evening.

‘The planes were di­verted to the near­est air­port which is King Shaka In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

‘Pas­sen­gers were trans­ported by bus via road trans­port from Richards Bay Air­port to King Shaka In­ter­na­tional,’ said SA Ex­press spokesper­son, Madikwe Mabotha.

KZN Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment teams were on high alert last week ow­ing to the warn­ing of heavy rains and thun­der­storms is­sued by the South African weather ser­vices over the in­te­rior parts of the prov­ince.

KZN MEC for Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional

Af­fairs (Cogta) No­musa DubeNcube urged res­i­dents to take great cau­tion as thun­der­storms pose a se­ri­ous threat to hu­man life.

‘In our prov­ince, bad weather pat­terns tend to leave a trail of death and de­struc­tion in their wake ev­ery year. We are there­fore urg­ing our com­mu­ni­ties to take great cau­tion,’ she said.

The Goed­ertrouw Dam stood at 47.1 per­cent ca­pac­ity on Fri­day morn­ing

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