21 January 2013

South Africa: Flood Warnings

press release

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle S/Vanguard
Flooding leaves many homeless.

The NATJOINTS (that incorporates various government departments including the South African Police, South African National Defence Force, National Disaster Management Centre and other role players) would like to announce that additional flooding is expected in the Pontdrift area of Limpopo. An urgent request is hereby made for people to move to higher ground and to avoid low lying areas, rivers, bridges and streams.

Heavy and persistent rainfall experienced in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces has resulted in many rivers breaking their banks. Numerous people have been left destitute, with severe infrastructure damage and fatalities being experienced in some of the affected provinces.

Security forces and emergency services have been deployed in those affected areas to evacuate and rescue people. Four Oryx helicopters of the South Africa Air Force and two helicopters of the South African Police Service are busy with rescue and evacuation in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Thus far people have been airlifted to safety and many more are still awaiting rescue.

The following border posts have also been closed due to the floods ;

• Pafuri

• Pontdrif

• Platjan

• Zanzibar

The National Disaster Management Centre has requested the public to be cautious of the following:

• Avoid crossing low lying bridges, streams and rivers;

• Motorist must be very careful and avoid driving on flooded areas;

• People living in low lying areas or flood plains, should monitor the rising water levels and evacuate the areas as and when threatened;

• Public should monitor weather alerts through the radios and television; and

• Public should contact their municipal disaster management centres or the nearest police station when faced with threats.

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InFocus

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Flooding leaves many homeless.

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