Category: Disaster Management

Garden Route aims to find environmental solutions

In the run-up to its yearly environmental seminar for key stakeholders, the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is looking to find lasting solutions for prevailing regional problems and a myriad new challenges in effective environmental management.

For decades authorities and private landowners have been dealing with the same problems, including non-sustainable land-use and land management best practice, increased fire risks and water security issues, a rapid decrease in natural habitat and biodiversity conservation, and compliance with environmental and agricultural legislation.

The Nels River, like many streams and rivers, is badly affected by invasive alien trees and deliver little or no surface water as a result. The state of rivers in the Garden Route interior is vital to rural communities and agricultural sustainability and requires a plan of action from authorities and private landowners to ensure their survival and optimal performance in the supply of freshwater from stressed catchments.

Over time, managing the Southern Cape environment has become exponentially more difficult, with many new challenges, including climate change, major changes in rainfall patterns, unprecedented wildfires, vast population growth and development, invasive alien plant growth and drought.

Finding new solutions and partnerships are vital

In many respects, national government departments are experiencing difficulties in operational respects, including managing their own assets and land, reduced resources, a low skills base, lack of effective communication, a sustained reactive approach or a complete lack of mandated management and compliance with environmental legislation.

In the Southern Cape, the Garden Route District Municipality and its public and private sector partners, though the Garden Route Environmental Forum, aim to play a leading role in taking on environmental challenges and development of partnerships in order to ensure and encourage a cohesive approach to find sustainable solutions.

What kind of solutions should the region be looking for?

According to Cobus Meiring of the GREF Secretariat, a fresh approach to planning around water security is always a good point of departure. Given the persistent drought in the interior regions, centred around towns like Van Wyksdorp, Calitzdorp, Ladismith and Oudtshoorn, the management of invasive alien plants, amongst other factors, is critical.

“As an example, rivers and catchments feeding the Kamanassie and Raubenheimer dams for Oudtshoorn, and the Nels River feeding Calitzdorp, are systems stressed by invasive alien plants and subsequent degradation. These systems require urgent intervention. However, there is still little information available on exactly what the extent of the problems are, and how to address them.”

Meiring continues to say: “National environmental programmes, in particular, the Working for Water Programme, has proven to be unsustainable in effectively dealing with invasive alien plants in catchments and rivers, and is in effect hampering efforts to assist regional landowners to manage invasive alien plants on their land. The model needs to be urgently revised and adapted given the circumstances.”

Planning for climate change

Climate change will have a definite impact on both the present and future generations living in the Garden Route. Exactly what that impact will be in practical terms, we have little understanding of as yet, but we have to explore what the scenario may look like, and plan in accordance,” Meiring says.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) will be looking at what the agricultural production scenario will reflect in two decades from now, what are the vulnerabilities of our coastline given the slight rise in ocean levels, stronger storm surges and floods, fire risk to ever-expanding communities and the rural/ urban interface.

  • The Garden Route Environmental Forum’s seminar and key stakeholder event will take place in the George area on 11 December this year to reflect on regional environmental initiatives and planning ahead for 2020. Mandated by the Garden Route District Municipality, the GREF is the premier environmental platform in the Southern Cape.

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

WEBSITE: http://www.scli.org.za/gref

MEDIA ENQUIRIES
1. Cobus Meiring: Garden Route Environmental Forum Secretariat
Cell: 083 626 7619
Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

2. Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM)
Tel: 044 803 1318; Cell: 067 035 9203
Email: nina@gardenroute.gov.za

3. Herman Pieters: Senior Communication Officer, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM)
Tel: 044 803 1419
Email: communications@gardenroute.gov.za

Weather Alert – Damaging Winds

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following severe weather alert:

Hazard: Damaging Winds

Alert Level: Advisory

Valid From (SAST): 12/09/19 00h00

Valid To (SAST):  12/09/19 00h00

Strong north-westerly winds (50-60km/h) are expected over the Central Karoo and the Breede River. Gale force westerly wind (65-70km/h) is expected between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay on Thursday.

DESCRIPTION: STRONG DAMAGING WINDS

Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

PRECAUTIONS: STRONG DAMAGING WINDS

Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.

Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.

Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any related incidents to the  Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at telephone number. 044-805 5071.

Garden Route Environmental Forum launches extensive landowner assistance programme

Landowners in the Garden Route, as well as the environment they live in, has over the past three years suffered tremendously as a result of a series of severe wildfire disasters which basically burnt well over 200 000 hectares to a tinder.

In a joint effort to assist landowners, the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and SCLI Environmental launched an extensive landowner assistance programme aimed at assisting landowners in gathering spatial data on the extent of regrowth of invasive alien plants (IAPs) on their land, and provide technical and herbicide assistance to landowners indicating a willingness to eradicate and control invasive alien plants on their land. SCLI is the implementing agent for the programme.

According to Cobus Meiring, manager of the GREF Secretariat, and chairperson of SCLI, further objectives of the programme include generating opportunities for regional invasive alien plant control and clearing contractor teams, and empowering landowners in complying with Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) regulations pertaining to the management of IAPs on private land.

In many parts of the western and northern parts of the Garden Route, the crippling drought compounded the effects of the wildfire disasters. In places south of Riversdale, which burnt back in early 2017, the environment only now starts showing signs of vegetation cover.

“As if that is not enough, the vegetation type that makes its appearance first is of the wrong kind, and more often than not consists of dense stands of invasive alien plants, including (and there are many more) Rooikrans, Black Wattle, Blackwood, Long-leaved Wattle, pines of all shape and size, Stink Bean, Sesbania, Bluegum and a host of less known varieties such as Pampas Grass and Madeira Vine,” says Meiring.

Government is taking a tough stand on land management, especially invasive alien plant control and eradication

Following the out-of-control wildfires, authorities are clamping down on landowners allowing their land to become overrun by invasive alien trees and biomass which, if not better managed and controlled, will set the scene for a repeat of the intense 2017 fires.

“However, landowners are in a difficult situation as combating invasive alien plants can be a costly exercise, with relentless and fast regrowth patterns, requiring never-ending commitment and resources from landowners. More often than not, land affected by IAPs are on parcels of land that are not viable from a farming perspective, clustered in areas that are difficult to access on either steep slopes or nestled in deep ravines,” explains Meiring.

Herbicide application

“As a first step to better land management and compliance with environmental legislation, governmental officials insist that landowners develop Invasive Alien Plant Control Plans. Complicating matters even further is that all landowners and estate agents have to make mention of the extent of IAPs on a saleable land as an addendum to a sales agreement.”

GREF will assist participating and qualifying landowners with the compilation of standardised Invasive Alien Plant (IAP) Control Plans, and where applicable, issue herbicide volumes in accordance.

Use of herbicide not ideal, but a crucial tool in managing IAPs on a landscape scale

 Landowners in the Garden Route are serious about living in an environment that is as uncontaminated as possible, and many are against the use of herbicides.

Meiring says the safe use and application of herbicide is imperative to the roll-out of the landowner assistance programme, and participating landowners will be expected to abide by health and safety regulations, and apply herbicide strictly as prescribed by the labels, depending on which type is best suited for the plants they have to treat.

Landowners interested in participating in and registering for the landowner assistance programme can write to cobus@naturalbridge.co.za or p.buchholz@outlook.com.

 

WEBSITE: https://www.scli.org.za/GREF/

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

 MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Cobus Meiring: Manager of the GREF Secretariat and Chairperson of SCLI

Cell: 083 626 7619

Email: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

South African Weather Service Update – Higher sea levels expected between 11:00 and 13:00 today

The South African Weather Service today, 28 August 2019, informed the Garden Route District Municipality’s Disaster Management Centre that there was a 6.6 magnitude earthquake near the South Sandwich Islands Region and South Georgia last night. It took place 2768 km from Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.

As a result of this, there is a possibility of a higher sea swell between 11:00 and 13:00 today. Not a significant impact, but we expect a 0.5m rise above the normal high watermark. We would like to advise fishermen to be cautious during this time.

GRDM Disaster Management and Municipal Health officials celebrated Mandela Day on 19 July

Officials from the GRDM Disaster Management Section on George, on 19 July 2019, visited the Heuwel Day Care facility and Reȅnboog Creche in Calitzdorp respectively. On their arrival at each facility, the team extended a word of gratitude to the caretakers for allowing them the visit to the crèche.

They also shared a word of motivation to all the toddlers, to look well after themselves and work very hard in life to be able to reach their dreams. After the formal part of the visit, the team treated the toddlers with warm soup and bread and donated nappies to the crèche.

George Municipal Health officials reach out to Lancewood Primary School learners

The Environmental health Practitioners from the George office (Wilderness region) celebrated Mandela Day on 19 July 2019 at Lancewood Primary School. Lancewood Primary school is one of our local rural schools in George, and has a total number of 66 children.

Prior to the visit on the 19th, the team conducted a needs assessment to determine the needs of the learners.  During their visit on the 19th the team surprised the school and learners with: netball balls, soccer balls, a rugby ball, made and galvanized netball poles; sanitary towels; assorted color chalks and chalk board dusters; covered and painted cable drums to recycle as dining tables and two (2) outside dining tables that were made from recycled materials.

During the visit the Breede Gouritz Catchment Agency donated puzzles, board games, recyclable water bottles and lunch boxes to the learners and Mortgage Max Sonet Calitz handed out food parcels and stationary.

The event was organised in collaboration with the GRDM Maintenance Team, Mortgage Max Sonet Calitz, as well as the Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency and it was indeed a great success.

Severe Weather Alert – High Seas

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following high sea alert:

HAZARD: High Seas – Wave heights between 6.0m to 7.0m
ALERT LEVEL: Warning
VALID FROM (SAST): 19/07/19 00h00 (tomorrow) 
VALID TO (SAST): 19/07/19 23h00 (tomorrow)
AREA: Between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay

DESCRIPTION: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.
In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

PRECAUTIONS: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.
If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.
Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any related incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at Tel: 044-805 5071.

Garden Route District Municipality’s Nina Viljoen now “Dr Nina Viljoen”

Nina Viljoen, Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation Practitioner at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), was on 12 July 2019, conferred a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) qualification at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences.

Talking passionately to the Communication and Graphic Design Unit of GRDM regarding the progress of her education over the years, she said: “I progressed from having a Grade 7 (previous standard 5) school qualification at the age of 19, to achieving my Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), with specialisation in Water Resources Management”.

Her thesis is titled: “Participative water demand management as an adaptive response within complex socio-institutional systems: A City of Cape Town case study, South Africa’.  However, she admitted that it could not have been done without will power, commitment and true dedication.

Referring back to her Master of Science (MSc) Degree, she explained: “I also focused on water resources management, more specifically alternative water resources, with my dissertation entitled: “The feasibility of rainwater and stormwater harvesting within a winter rainfall climate context: A Commercial Building Focus,” for which I received a Cum Laude recognition”.

Touching on how she persevered with so much at hand, she said:  “At times I had to isolate myself from family issues and had to work over weekends and on public holidays on my thesis. I also participated in Garden Route Environmental Management related initiatives, and attended forums and workshops that took my mind off the strict routine of the PhD studies”, she added. At times when she felt despondent and felt like giving up, these initiatives helped her to get re-energised and motivated again.

Sharing briefly about her childhood years, she said she grew up in a single-parent household.  “I attended 14 primary schools as my family was mostly homeless and moved around a lot. Sadly, due to the psychological and physical impacts of these hardships we faced, I lost my only sibling to suicide”.

Dr Viljoen is adamant that education saved her life and has given her independence. She would like to be a role model to the youth as an example of the importance of education in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and hardship. With regard to her immediate future plans, she concluded:  “With my expertise and experience gained through my PhD studies, I will continue to help the Garden Route district with water resource planning and drought awareness initiatives”.

Severe Weather Alert

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following severe weather alerts:

HAZARD 1: Damaging Winds
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 12h00
Valid To (SAST): 21/06/19 20h00

Warning: Gale force NW’ly winds (60-80km/h, gusts 90-100km/h) are expected in places over the Karoo areas, Breede Valley, Cape Peninsula, Overberg District tomorrow (Friday) reaching strong Gale force along coastal regions between Table Bay and Cape Agulhas in the afternoon, spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning. Advisory: Strong north-westerly to westerly (40-60km/h)winds are expected over the Western Cape tomorrow (Friday).

HAZARD 2: Veld Fire Conditions
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 12h00
Valid To (SAST): 21/06/19 23h00

Expected in places over the Garden Route, Central Karoo, West Coast District, Breede Valley and eastern Overberg tomorrow (Friday).

HAZARD 3: Storm surges
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 15h00
Valid To (SAST): 22/06/19 00h00

Expected between Saldanha Bay and Cape Agulhas tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, spreading to Plettenberg Bay on Saturday morning.

HAZARD 4: High Seas
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 18h00
Valid To (SAST): 22/06/19 00h00

With wave heights between 6-9m is expected between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from tomorrow afternoon (Friday), spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning, subsiding by the afternoon.

DESCRIPTION: Strong damaging winds

Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

PRECAUTIONS: Strong damaging winds

Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

DESCRIPTION: Storm surges

Generally storm surges are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storms and/or tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

PRECAUTIONS: Storm surges

All recreational beach activities should be suspended. People with beach side properties should be aware of the possibility of being flooded by a rise in sea level and wave surges that could cause damage to their property.
If possible relocate valuable assets to higher ground and be vigilant especially during high tide. If the surge is associated with a Spring High Tide then significant inundation is possible and one should be aware of the times of occurrence of the High tide.
Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

DESCRIPTION: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

PRECAUTIONS: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

DESCRIPTION: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.
In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

PRECAUTIONS: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.
If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.
Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route District Municipality Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071

Severe Weather Alerts

The Cape Town Weather Office, has issued the following severe weather alerts:
 
HAZARD 1: Damaging Winds
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 12h00
Valid To (SAST): 21/06/19 20h00
Warning: Gale force NW’ly winds (60-80km/h, gusts 90-100km/h) are expected in places over the Karoo areas, Breede Valley, Cape Peninsula, Overberg District tomorrow (Friday) reaching strong Gale force along coastal regions between Table Bay and Cape Agulhas in the afternoon, spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning. Advisory: Strong north-westerly to westerly (40-60km/h)winds are expected over the Western Cape tomorrow (Friday).
 
HAZARD 2: Veld Fire Conditions
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 12h00
Valid To (SAST): 21/06/19 23h00
Expected in places over the Garden Route, Central Karoo, West Coast District, Breede Valley and eastern Overberg tomorrow (Friday).
 
HAZARD 3: Storm surges
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 15h00
Valid To (SAST): 22/06/19 00h00
Expected between Saldanha Bay and Cape Agulhas tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, spreading to Plettenberg Bay on Saturday morning.
 
HAZARD 4: High Seas
Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 21/06/19 18h00
Valid To (SAST): 22/06/19 00h00
With wave heights between 6-9m is expected between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from tomorrow afternoon (Friday), spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning, subsiding by the afternoon.
 
DESCRIPTION: Strong damaging winds
 
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.
 
PRECAUTIONS: Strong damaging winds
 
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.
 
DESCRIPTION: Storm surges
 
Generally storm surges are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storms and/or tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.
 
PRECAUTIONS: Storm surges
 
All recreational beach activities should be suspended. People with beach side properties should be aware of the possibility of being flooded by a rise in sea level and wave surges that could cause damage to their property.
If possible relocate valuable assets to higher ground and be vigilant especially during high tide. If the surge is associated with a Spring High Tide then significant inundation is possible and one should be aware of the times of occurrence of the High tide.
Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.
 
DESCRIPTION: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions
 
Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.
 
PRECAUTIONS: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions
 
Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.
 
DESCRIPTION: Storm surges / High Seas
 
Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.
In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.
 
PRECAUTIONS: Storm surges / High Seas
 
Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.
If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.
Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.
 
Report any incidents to the Garden Route District Municipality Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071
 
#GardenRoute #GardenRouteDM #SevereWeatherAlert #WeatherSA

Severe Weather Alert

The following severe weather alerts have been issued by the Cape Town Weather office:

Hazard 1 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
High Seas Watch 21/06/19 00h00 22/06/19 00h00

Wave heights between 6-7.5m are expected between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from Friday evening, spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning, subsiding by the afternoon.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.  Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Hazard 2 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
Damaging Winds Watch 21/06/19 00h00 21/06/19 00h00

Watch: Gale force north-westerly winds (60-75km/h, gusting 80-100km/h) are expected in places over the Central Karoo, Breede Valley, Cape Peninsula, and coastal regions between Table Bay and Plettenberg Bay (Western Cape) on Friday(21/06/2019). Advisory: Strong north-westerly to westerly (40-60km/h)winds are expected over the southern West Coast District, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Garden Route Districts (Western Cape) on Friday.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

To report any incidents, contact the GRDM Disaster Management Centre at tel: 044 805 5071