Major floods hit the city of Pretoria, South Africa

Major floods hit the city of Pretoria, South Africa

Heavy rains caused widespread severe floods across parts of the city of Pretoria, Gauteng Province, South Africa on Monday morning, December 9, 2019, engulfing roads and stranding residents. Pretoria is located 55 km (34 miles) north of Johannesburg. The same weather system affected other north-eastern provinces over the past week, resulting in heavy rain and flooding. It is expected to move out of the country on Wednesday, December 11.

"The low water bridge at End and Rabie streets have been closed following heavy rain since Sunday afternoon," said Tshwane Emergency Medical Services (EMS) spokesperson Charles Mabaso. Lenchen Road and Lyttelton Road were also closed.

The Capital Park low water bridge had been closed on Monday as well.

Guests and staff were evacuated in the lower floors of Centurion Lake Hotel after the parking lot and reception area were flooded. Mabaso ensured that they were safe and were moved to the upper floors of the building.

The intersection of End and Rabbie Street was extremely flooded and cordoned off.

Reports said the floodwater was so high in some areas that it reached half the length of the traffic lights.

In 24 hours to 08:00 LT on December 10, Pretoria - Presidency Ars recorded 114 mm (4.48 inches) of rain and Pretoria Unisa 109 mm (4.29 inches). Both values are preliminary.

On average, Pretoria receives around 87 mm (3.4 inches) of rain during the entire month of December.

Rains are still expected on Tuesday, December 10, said forecaster Kgolofelo Mahlangu. She added that flooding was normal during tropical summer rain conditions.

"There is an upper trough system sitting on the upper parts of the atmosphere and bringing moisture from the subtropics of the continent into our region. This is why we have so much rainfall."

For Wednesday, December 11, normal 30% isolated showers were expected. Showers will also hit North West, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal.

"By Wednesday it will shift even further eastwards to cover the coastal areas. It will cover extreme eastern parts of Free State and Gauteng."

On Thursday, December 12, rains are forecast to pummel into the eastern parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and Eastern Cape.

Featured image credit: Yusuf Ismail

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