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South Africa – Natural disasters

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in South Africa | Comments Off on South Africa – Natural disasters

South Africa – Natural disasters

South Africa - Natural disasters

South Africa- Natural Disasters/ Extreme weather


Africa is notable for extreme climatic weather conditions but among the countries on the planet, some stand out due to the degree and level of destruction caused by these disasters. Analysts often blame this increasing trend on global warming, however in countries such as South Africa, this trend often leaves much to be desired.

The country experiences some of the extreme weather conditions which results in sometimes unpredictable gruesome natural disasters on the continent. Notable among these extreme weather conditions include cold temperatures, hail storms, drought and floods which cause damages totaling billions of dollars annually.

Cold Temperatures: In 2013, the country recorded one of the lowest temperatures in decades. It weather service recorded temperatures as low as -19.5°C (-3.1°F) at Buffelsfontein which was reported to be the coldest temperatures ever recorded in the country. According to climatologist, same area know for very cold temperatures recorded the previous record of around -18.6°C (-1.5°F) in 1996.

Hail storm and floods: In South Africa, floods have permanently displaced ten and thousands of people causing over $14 billion dollars in damages in 2011 alone, where death toll were rolled into over more than a hundred. Most prevalent areas are the Eastern and Northern provinces where of cause the residents live in squalors with poor drainages and in very poor conditions.

In 2012, floods in the country were reported to be so severe; it washed away as section of the country’s N2 Highway linking Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth. These floods are mainly caused by torrential rain falls which follows heavy hailstorms, with hail believed to be as big as tennis balls causing damages to cars, homes and businesses.

Droughts: Droughts in Africa have been declared a humanitarian crisis by the United Nations. In Southern Africa, the situation is often a tell tale. South Africa experiences some of the severe droughts on the continent. In a region where most farmers rely on subsistence farming, the dire need for rain fall can in no way be exaggerated. Caused by severe heatwaves, droughts leaves thousands of impoverished villagers without drinking water. In 2013 for example, Makuleke a village about 200km North East of Polokwane was ravaged badly killing about 900 out of 2000 cattle lost in that region alone.

Droughts in South Africa have a regional impact as its grains are bought by humanitarian agencies including the United National Food and Agricultural Organization (UNFAO) to feed the region.