Stay home if you can: Further flooding expected on New Year’s Eve

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Joined: Nov 2016

The death toll from the floods earlier this week remains at 21, after no bodies were recovered on Saturday.

As emergency services continue rescue operations after devastating flooding this past week, authorities have warned of further flooding on New Year’s Eve.

Heavy rain, strong winds and severe thunderstorms are expected to hit several parts of the country on Sunday, including the south coast, Western Cape, central parts of the North-West province, the north-western part of the Free State, central interior and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape, and the central interior of KwaZulu-Natal.

Don’t go out for New Year’s Eve

It has sparked warnings of localised flooding and structural damage, with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs urging people not to go out on Sunday evening.

ALSO READ: Weather update: Brace for disruptive rain and thunderstorms this New Year’s Eve

“We are deeply concerned about the number of fatalities caused by adverse weather conditions. We are still recovering from the devastating floods that claimed [more than] 20 lives in the Ladysmith area.

“We do not want to see more lives lost due to the weather. While New Year’s Eve is a cause for celebration, let us prioritise safety. We encourage everyone to stay at home and ensure their surroundings are safe. For those attending festivals, please adhere to the safety measures that will be in place,” said Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi.

Where flooding is likely to happen

It said municipalities that will be affected include Abaqulusi, Alfred Duma, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Underberg, eDumbe, eMadlangeni Endumeni, Greater Kokstad, Impendle, Ingwe, Inkosi Langalibalele – Escourt, Mkhambathini, Mpofana – Giants Castle, Mooi River, Msinga, Nkandla, Nquthu, Richmond, Msunduzi, Ubuhlebezwe, Ulundi, uMngeni, uMshwathi, UMuziwabantu, Umvoti, Umzimkhulu, and uPhongolo local municipalities.

ALSO READ: Police on high alert as South Africans prepare to enter the new year

“Residents are advised to avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where the water is above ankle depth. Those in rural areas must move animals to safer ground on higher terrain. Exercise caution while travelling on roads, as potholes may be concealed by water, and there could be sinkholes”.

Rescue efforts are still underway

Meanwhile, efforts to recover the bodies of those who died in the floods are still underway in Ladysmith, with the death toll remaining at 21 people after no bodies were recovered on Saturday.

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Dylan Meyrick told The Citizen police would need to return to their stations for New Year’s operations, but other teams would be on alert and assist with any emergencies.

Additional reporting by Chulumanco Mahamba


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