Cold front has emergency services on standby

Cold front has emergency services on standbyResidents have no choice but to walk long distances to access healthcare services. Photo: Ruan Niemann/ Flickr

As the South African Weather Service has announced that there will be a cold front moving across Johannesburg in the days leading towards the weekend, the City of Johannesburg has urged residents to be cautious.

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The City says this significant drop in temperatures means that most of the citizens, especially those residing in informal settlements, will be exposed to extremely cold temperatures forcing them to use heating and lighting appliances to try and warm themselves. These heating appliances might be dangerous if they are not used safely.

“The City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) will remain on high alert to make sure that we respond quickly to any emergency which might occur. The main focus will be our 189 informal settlements throughout the city since they are the most vulnerable to fires when the weather is like this,” said Robert Mulaudzi, EMS spokeperson.

“We will be fully operational throughout the weekend and Disaster Management Monitoring teams have been dispatched to all seven regions of the city to monitor any eventuality and also to facilitate any evacuations procedures whenever there is a need to do so since there is a possibility of some rainfall. We also want to urge all our residents who are within the formal residential areas not to leave the heaters unattended while in use to avoid fire incidents.”

Local councilor Adolf Marema said: “The most worrying factor is that the disaster management’s resources have been stretched. There is no guarantee that victims will be helped with either food, accommodation or building materials since there have been a lot of disasters lately. We are going to have to look elsewhere for help. We are crossing our fingers and hoping that there won’t be major incidents.”
For any life-threatening emergencies, residents are requested to call 10177 on a Telkom landline or 112 on their cell phone or 011 375 5911. – Health-e News.