5 July 2011

South Africa: Storm Shuts Shopping Centre's Lower Level

East London — An early morning rainstorm saw a number of stores being forced to close at a shopping centre in East London today.

Vincent Park Shopping Centre marketing manager, Allison Randall, said despite the centre's lower level being flooded, it was business as usual for stores trading on the upper level.

"We've been able to clear up the water on both the upper and lower levels. We have started clearing the rubble and dirt on the lower level," said Randall.

She said the full extent of the damage would only be known once all the rubble had been cleared and the damage assessed.

"We are working hard to ensure that everything is cleared up by the end of business today," said Randall.

Vincent Park is one of many places that have been affected in the wake of the heavy rains and flooding that have lashed East London and other parts of the Eastern Cape.

It is reported that some people were trapped in their cars and homes, leaving the provincial disaster management team in a scramble to save them.

Nelson Mandela Bay is also experiencing heavy rains and strong winds.

The SA Weather Service has forecast showers for the province for the rest of the day, with the situation easing up tomorrow.

No injuries or deaths have so far been reported.

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