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Disaster teams still to assess full extent of Eastern Cape flood damage

Apr 25, 2019
Disaster teams still to assess full extent of Eastern Cape flood damage

MEC Fikile Xasa on Eastern Cape floods

Eastern Cape - The process of assessing damage in the flood ravaged areas of the Eastern Cape is still ongoing and no decision will be made for now to declare a state of disaster in this regard, so said Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC, Fikile Xasa.

MEC Xasa was reacting to the flood disaster that occurred in the Alfred Nzo and OR Tambo District Municipalities. He added that currently, Port St Johns, Mbizana and King Sabata Dalindyebo local municipalities remain the Provincial “hot spot areas,“ with regards to issues of disaster relief measures.

Phola Park in King Sabata Dalindyebo is already flooded and the rescue teams are on site to verify the extent of the damage so that relief efforts can be made available appropriately.

The MEC said: “It is the assessments and recommendations from the affected District Joint Operation Centres and Municipal Councils that will inform us whether or not a provincial state of disaster will be declared in terms of Section 41 of the Disaster Management Act."

He added that the Provincial Joint Operations Centre (JOC) has agreed to approach relevant stakeholders including Public Works and the Provincial office of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for intervention in the construction of temporal bridges for the affected areas. 

Number of fatalities following Eastern Cape floods

MEC Xasa said so far the Province has recorded fatalities as follows,

  • In Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, a 21 months old child fell into a ditch and drowned to death whilst allegedly playing.
  • A 38 year-old adult female in Ward 25 of Nyandeni Local Municipality drowned whilst trying to cross the Emdumbi River.
  • A 12-year-old child drowned whilst crossing a river in Mzimvubu Local Municipality.
  • A 39 year-old adult female at KwaKhanyayo in Ward 15 of Mbizana Local Municipality drowned whilst crossing a river.

On Thursday, it emerged that three learners also drowned on Wednesday due to the recent rains.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and their next of kin for the loss of their loved ones during this period,” said MEC Xasa.

He added that whilst they welcome the good rains, parts of Sarah Baartman and Amathole District Municipality still remain under the firm grip of the drought situation.

“Indeed, climate change is a reality we must all face and prepare for in advance,” said MEC Xasa.

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