South Africa – Floods in North and East Leave 3 Dead, 2 Missing

At least 3 people have died and 2 are still missing in floods after more than a week of persistent, heavy rain, particularly in northern and eastern parts of South Africa. Dam levels in the area are nearing full capacity as the rain continues.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) indicated last week that a weather system developing in the wake of of Ex-Cyclone Dineo was likely to bring rain over a number of provinces.

SAWS says that more rain is still expected in many parts of the country and yesterday warned that localized flooding was possible in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, southern areas of Limpopo and eastern parts of North West province due to already saturated ground.

Government Urges Residents to Heed Warnings

In a statement yesterday, 23 February, 2017, the government said that the Department of Water and Sanitation is to maintain high vigilance on the dams and rivers in provinces where rains are continuing.

“The department maintains its readiness to alert and issue out early warning messages to any threatening situation within the vulnerable communities and implement measures to reduce the impact of the flooding events.”

The government warned residents to stay informed and heed any warnings and evacuation advice.

“…The National Disaster Management Centre is urging communities to stay informed by tuning to their local radio stations to get updates and notices about weather alerts and potential dangers. Where the need arises, adhere to evacuation instructions, especially for those staying next to rivers or in low lying areas.”

3 Dead in North West Province

A statement by the North West provincial government on 22 February confirmed that three people have died in the province as a result of flooding and heavy rain over the last few days.

One of the fatalities occurred in Loporung near Makgobistad, where a young boy drowned attempting to cross a stream. Two people died in in Lemenong when their vehicle was swept away by flood water.

Wide areas of the province have been affected by flooding. The provincial government says that the Ratlou, Kagisano – Molopo, Greater Taung, Ramotshere Moiloa, Mahikeng, Moses Kotane, Rustenburg, Maquassi Hills and Matlosana local municipalities are the worst affected areas.

Officials from the Departments of Local Government and Human Settlement as well as Community Safety and Transport Management have been deployed around the province to evaluate the extent of damages caused by the on-going rainfall , and provide assistance in cases of emergencies.

In conveying his message of condolences to the bereaved families, Premier Mahumapelo said :

“Words are never adequate in moments like these . Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families during this sad time. We send our sincere sympathies to the families of the deceased”. Premier Mahumapelo urged the people of Bokone-Bophirima to remain focused, united, obey rules of the roads, look after their children, and report potential flood incidents to their District Disaster Management Centres.”

2 Missing, 4 Injured in KwaZulu-Natal

Flooding has also affected areas of KwaZulu-Natal province, including Durban and Newcastle.

The states Emergency Medical Services reported on 22 February that a woman and 15 month old baby have been washed away in the Mafodobo river near Harding. Police teams have carried out searches. As of late yesterday South Africa Police said that woman and baby were still missing.

On 21 February 4 people were seriously injured when a house collapsed after heavy rain and flooding in Ilembe district in KwaDakuza.

Searching for 2 mnssing after floods along the Mafodobo River near Harding, South Africa. Photo: SA Police

Rainfall

22 to 23 February, 2017

  • Marken 88.0 mm
  • Lydenburg 76.0 mm
  • Thabazimbi 104.0 mm

21 to 22 February

  • Ermelo 64.0 mm
  • Ottosdal 81.0 mm
  • Richards Bay 111.0 mm
  • Mtunzini 101 mm

Flood Summary

Last updated: February 24, 2017
Event
South Africa, February 2017
Date
February 20, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Loporung
B - Lemenong
C - Harding
D - KwaDakuza

Magnitude

Rainfall level
104 mm in 24 hours
Thabazimbi - February 22 to February 23, 2017
Rainfall level
76 mm in 24 hours
Lydenburg - February 22 to February 23, 2017
Rainfall level
88 mm in 24 hours
Marken - February 22 to February 23, 2017
Rainfall level
111 mm in 24 hours
Richards Bay - February 21 to February 22, 2017
Rainfall level
101 mm in 24 hours
Mtunzini - February 21 to February 22, 2017

Damages

Fatalities
3 people
North West Province - February 20 to February 22, 2017
Missing people
2 people
KwaZulu-Natal - February 22 to February 24, 2017
Injured
4 people
KwaZulu-Natal - February 22 to February 24, 2017