A freak cloudburst brought #weather that people simply do not expect every day in Johannesburg, #South Africa. It is the start of the rainy season in the country, but it is not normal for a huge deluge to simply pour from the sky and turn freeways into rivers during rush hour traffic. There was some hail, but now there have been further severe storm warnings issued again for today, 10th November - this time with more hail predicted.
Flash floods caused by cloudburst - fatalities reported
It was reported across the media in the country that a number of people sadly lost their lives in the flash floods that inundated parts of the sprawling city and surrounding eastern municipality areas. News24 reported that emergency services confirmed two dead, but there may still be other people missing. Hundreds of people were left homeless following the storm. There were stories of ordinary people turning into heroes as they rushed to form human chains and help stranded motorists to safety.
Planes diverted from international airport
While the rain was welcomed following a long dry season after lower than normal rains last year, people would have preferred it not to all fall at once. A particularly hard hit area was at the Oliver Tambo International Airport where roads turned into rivers and a basement car park was flooded. Incoming flights were diverted due to the stormy weather. Major damage was reported on a big highway known as the N3, which has been closed for repair.
The videos show the water as it rushes on a destructive journey, but one of the best was caught as the storm clouds arrived and then the next moment the water just crashed down in a cloudburst. Take a look at this:
The floods were really very scary and some videos like the one below show the sheer terror and shock of people as what is usually a fairly quiet suburban river rampages and drags cars into a hellish maelstrom.
Heavier rain than normal forecast for South Africa this summer
The East Rand was the hardest hit. This followed localized flooding on the 7th and now the weather bureau has forecast heavier rains than normal for the forthcoming season. There are some concerns as many of the high-density suburbs where the poorest people live are in low-lying areas and many of them have inadequate drainage. #climate change