Hundreds evacuated in Port Elizabeth due to flooding

JULY 23, 2015

Due to the persistent heavy rains experienced in the past five days, the number of people evacuated by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has increased significantly, the municipality said on Thursday afternoon.

“The evacuation is being undertaken by the Municipality's Disaster Management Sub-directorate, following the flooding and the waterlogged conditions in informal settlements that are putting people's lives at risk,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications and Media Management Officer, Mthubanzi Mniki.

“The total number of residents that have been evacuated so far is 657, with the number growing steadily. In the Greenbushes area, 45 people have been evacuated, while 350 residents have been evacuated from the Vastrap area. These people have been moved to the Kuyga and Booysens Park Community Halls. Another 220 people have been evacuated from an informal settlement in Lorraine. 42 people from the Fairview informal settlement have been evacuated to the Fairview Race Course.”

Mniki said that as the South African Weather Services is expecting more heavy rain to fall between today and Saturday, the Municipality's Disaster Management Sub-directorate remains on high alert for any eventuality.

“All Disaster Management staff will also be on standby after hours to assist in any area of the Bay where people may be stressed due to heavy rain. We are especially monitoring the situation in all the areas that usually experience flooding and disasters related to heavy rains,” he said.

“Currently, a number of Disaster Management officials are out in various areas of the Metro to inspect and monitor the condition on the ground.”


Please note:

Description: Flooding / Heavy Rain

Flooding occurs when water overflows its normal channels such as streams and storm water drains. It can occur with prolonged period of rain, with continuous heavy falls or in the form of flash floods which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain may also result in river flooding causing damage downstream to areas that may receive no rainfall at all during the flooding event.

Precautions: Flooding / Heavy Rain

If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in flooding in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building. In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground.

Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water. NEVER drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Be especially cautious at night when it's harder to recognize flood dangers. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.