A fake WhatsApp message containing a “storm warning” is being distributed and it claims the department of meteorology in South Africa has issued a statement confirming that a storm called Dineo – “will be hitting South Africa, Johannesburg and Jhb south as of tonight”
Local myth buster Africa Check debunked this hoax in 2017 already, but somehow it made a reappearance, much to the consternation of the South African Weather Service (SAWS), which tweeted on Wednesday: “Another whatsapp (sic) about ‘storm Dineo’ hitting Johannesburg tonight is once again doing the rounds. Please ignore fake news such as this. Do not forward it.”
The message described potential damage to property that could be caused by wind, “heavy rain” and “heavy floodings” and advised people to seek shelter, “suspend all planned trips” and “not be found working after hours”.
This doesn’t tie in with South Africa’s current lockdown regulations that restrict movement and working conditions.
Another whatsapp about ‘storm Dineo’ hitting Johannesburg tonight is once again doing the rounds. Please ignore fake news such as this. Do not forward it. Always verify information with the South African Weather Service. https://t.co/82W3dwEEdB
— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) June 17, 2020
In 2017, Africa Check contacted the SAWS, which dismissed the claim as “100% a hoax”.
Gauteng Weather also tweeted that the message was fake.
❌FAKE NEWS ALERT: WhatsApp message about a storm called Dineo in Gauteng, once again doing the rounds! This is false, so do not pass it on. For starters, storms are never named. Spelling also very bad and most emergency numbers on the message are fake, to name but a few issues.
— Gauteng Weather (@tWeatherSA) June 17, 2020
“For starters, storms are never named. Spelling [is] also very bad and most emergency numbers on the message are fake, to name but a few issues,” it tweeted.