Tread carefully during heavy rainfall
10 February 2021
Emergency Services have urged residents and motorists to be cautious when flooding occurs, and rather to be safe than sorry.
The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in Mpumalanga says persistent heavy rain has left a trail of death and destruction in the province. The rainfall has damaged infrastructure, roads and at least 100 housing structures in various parts of Mpumalanga. At least eight people were killed in a heavy storm which moved through the province on Saturday. The department’s spokesperson, George Mthethwa, stated that the SAPS is still searching for five people who are presumed to have drowned. He said there is a search operation led by the police to recover those who have drowned and are still unaccounted for, including a 13-year-old boy who was riding a horse when he drowned in a river.
“We have eight certified fatalities which occurred as a result of drowning in our rivers. We must say some have been horrendous. For example, in one incident, we had a mother who was trying to cross a local river while carrying a baby on her back. Unfortunately, she could not survive. We still have five missing persons, those who have drowned in the local rivers.” he stated. Other areas, including Mbombela, Bushbuckridge, and Nkomazi were severely affected.
Two weeks ago Mpumalanga authorities reported that a five-year-old boy died after he was swept by floods, while in KwaZulu-Natal, a 14-year-old also died after drowning during heavy rainfall. The South African Weather Service has issued a yellow moderate level two warning as more persistent rainfall is expected to hit. Emergency Services have urged residents and motorists to be cautious when flooding occurs, and rather to be safe than sorry. Drive safely and responsibly, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and make sure you don’t drive on flooded roads.