12 December 2012

South Africa: North West Premier Thandi Modise Conveys Condolences to Families of Storm Victims

press release

North West Premier Thandi Modise wishes to convey her condolences to families of the three people who lost their lives and those whose over 50 houses were damaged in torrential rains and heavy storms that hit several villages across the province on Tuesday.

According to police, the first death reported was of a 22-year-old man caught in heavy rain while walking home in Madibogo South. His aunt said he coughed the entire night and was unable to walk or talk before dying.

In a second incident, a 52-year-old man was found dead in a field used for grazing animals. Police suspect that he could have been struck by lightning whilst looking for his cattle when caught up in the heavy rains on his way back.

A third person, an 80-year-old woman was found dead on Tuesday afternoon, beneath a tree between Rantse and Marotse villages outside Mahikeng.

According to police, Mosebi Lenah Motsemme was walking home after visiting her daughter in another village. She reportedly lost direction due to heavy rain and decided to seek shelter under a tree. When she did not return home, her son went looking for her and found her beneath the tree, dead.

Houses and business premises were damaged when heavy storms hit Motsitlane, Dikgatlhong and Lenganeng sections of Madibogo village, Piet Plessis,Dryharts and Boitumelo Township outside Bloemhof this week.

Among the houses damaged in Madibogo South was that of Selina Tsubane, 40, who lived there with her three children and two nieces. She survives on child support grants.

The Provincial Disaster Management Centre is monitoring the situation and supporting the District Disaster Management Centres in coordinating emergency relief efforts.

The Department of Human Settlements has been activated to conduct assessments of damaged infrastructure while the South African Social Security Agency is on standby to provide emergency food grants to the affected households upon completion of the assessment.

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