Floods in South Africa, declares state of national disaster, 2 dead, 5 missing

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Arcoding to FLOODLIST

Flooding caused widespread damage and at least 12 fatalities earlier this month, prompting the government to declare a national state of emergency.

Eastern Cape Province

Severe flooding struck in the town of Coffee Bay and surrounding areas of King Sabata Dalindyebo local municipality on 18 February 2023. Homes, schools and infrastructure were damaged. Six people were swept away by floodwater. Two bodies have since been recovered and four remain missing.

Flooding struck in the town of Komani from 18 to 19 February, where more than 100 people were rescued. The provincial Department of Health in a statement said one person, who had been trapped in the floods with two others, was swept away on the evening of 18 February. Search operations resumed on 19 February.

“Two other people who were on top of their cars that had been trapped in the floods were rescued and taken to Frontier Hospital,” said department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

Residents in the area are still recovering from flooding that occurred on 08 February.

Mpumalanga Province

In Mpumalanga Orinvce, severe flooding affected the Lekwa Municipality in recent days, damaging buildings and infrastructure and forcing several families to evacuate.

Days of heavy rain led to an increase in the inflow into the Grootdraaidam, where floodgates have been opened.

KwaZulu-Natal Province

Flooding was reported in the city of Ladysmith in the KwaZulu-Natal province after the Klipriver broke its banks on 17 February. Several roads were closed, and homes and commercial buildings were flooded. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

North West Province

Authorities in the North West Province say efforts are underway to relocate residents of the flooded Deelpan village near Mahikeng. The Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality said Deelpan communities are in crisis as the entire village is almost submerged.

Northern Cape Province

The Department of Water and Sanitation urged communities along the Vaal Dam and Orange River to consider evacuating and moving to higher ground after floodgates were opened at several dams including the Vaal, Vanderkloof and Bloemhof.

“All residents of settlements (and in towns) along the banks of the Lower Vaal and Lower Orange Rivers should consider evacuating or moving to higher places that are at least above the 1 in 20-year flood line (a level at which people would likely be safer to be reached by water emanating from the releases).

The department warned that high water levels and possible flooding were anticipated in Douglas in the Northern Cape, at the confluence of the Vaal and Orange rivers, due to releases from the Vanderkloof and Bloemhof dams.

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