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Parts of Gauteng hit by sand, dust storm

The Weather Service says the dust storm is currently blowing over Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg and will soon move to Tshwane.

A sand storm moves towards Sandton on 22 August 2017.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Weather Service has issued a warning of a sand and dust storm over the central and northern parts of Gauteng.

It says the dust storm is currently blowing over Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg and will soon move to Tshwane.

The weather service says the dusty conditions are likely to cause poor visibility.

Forecaster Madimetja Thema said: “[There is a sand storm in] Southern and western parts of Gauteng, moving into Mpumalanga and also the eastern parts of the Free State, moving into KwaZulu-Natal. This is all caused by strong winds which we were expecting today.”

The weather service is also warning of veld fires caused by the current sand and dust storm.

It says the dust storm is expected to subside later on Tuesday evening.

Thema said: “There are also fires that are rising from these strong winds over the southern part of the country and we expect the winds to moderate later in the afternoon.”

He has also warned motorists to be careful on the roads: “People who are on the roads, especially areas where the dust is concentrated, must be careful. Visibility might drop to less than 5,000 metres and if you’re driving long distances, you must also be careful on the road.”

EMERGENCY SERVICES ON HIGH ALERT

At the same time, Johannesburg Emergency Services are on high alert for any possible incidents arising from a sand and dust storm.

Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said: “So far we haven’t received any incidents but we’re concerned about areas such as nature reserves.”