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Flood reaches Foz de Cunene

Flood reaches Foz de Cunene

Niël Terblanché

THE flood in the upper reaches of the Kunene River has reached the point where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean and all the way in between lodges and camps have been inundated with water as the river broke its banks at several places over the last three days.

 

With news from Angola that the flood gates at the Matala Dam in the Huila Province near Lubango are fully opened, an even stronger flood is expected to rush down the Kunene River that will reach Namibia soon.

 

The sluices at the Calueque Dam just north of Mahenene are also full open and the flood water is overflowing the bridge below the dam which makes travel between northern Namibia and southern Angola difficult.

 

Residents of the area has not seent the Kunene river flowing this strongly since 1982.

 

Video: The Kunene River is in full flood from the mouth to where it originates in Angola. The large volume of water has reached the river mouth and along the way many river camps and lodges have been inundated. It is reported from Angola that an even stronger flow is expected because of flood gates that have been opened in various dams nearer to the source of the river. – Footage: Courtesy of Johan van Rooyen (river mouth), Cornelius Kemp (Ruacana Falls) and Peter Wilpard (Calueque Dam).

 

The rate of flow of the river at the weir dam above the Ruacana Falls is estimated to be between 2 300 and 2 500 cubic metres per second where on Thursday the official rate stood at 1 300 cubic metres per second. Some of the people who resides in Ruacana and further down the river speculated that this is the highest water level in the river over the past 40 years.

 

Plumes of water vapour that can be seen from quite a distance away, has sprung up over the Ruacana Falls and the Epupa Falls further down the river.

 

At Foz de Cunene the water volume has increased significantly as a result of the flood and the river is flowing strongly into the Atlantic Ocean. The entire width of the river mouth is engulfed by the torrent.