Heavy rain fall causes floods and flash flooding in various parts of Gauteng, Tshwane hardest hit
Gauteng and Tshwane emergency services were working around the clock at the weekend providing assistance in flood-hit areas, with several people missing after being swept away by floodwaters. Charles Mabaso, deputy chief: public information and liaison officer at the City of Tshwane Emergency Services, said, “The City of Tshwane Emergency Services Department activated its Disaster Operations Centre on Saturday, 5 February 2022, to coordinate a multidisciplinary approach to the response and recovery measures for flooding incidents experienced in various parts of Tshwane from 4 February 2022. Rescue operations carried out by a multidisciplinary team of water rescue technicians and divers from the City of Tshwane, Gauteng EMS, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and volunteer rescue organisations, and in some parts tow truck services, managed to safely rescue 27 persons from vehicles trapped on flooded roads, low-water crossings and from the tops of trees.”
He added, “So far, two fatalities have been recorded that are related to these floods. In a continued search for possible victims who might have been swept away in the floods, the SAPS recovered the body of a man on the afternoon of 6 February 2022 from a bakkie that was washed away in the Centurion area on the night of 5 February 2022. The police dive team recovered the body of a man from his Audi SUV on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, after it was washed away and got stuck near the Centurion Lake Hotel. According to Mabaso, the team discovered the body underneath the hotel about midday.
“The of rescue technicians and divers, late on Saturday, 5 February 2022, responded to an incident in Dertig ,which is outside the borders of the City of Tshwane where 10 people were rescued from a vehicle that was stuck in a low water crossing. The rescued were three children and seven adults. “
The Emergency Services Department confirmed reports that the body of a man, who allegedly drowned in his shack at Soul City informal settlement in Mamelodi, was recovered by the SAPS and Pathology Services.”
“The search for three victims, who are believed to be the driver of an Uber taxi and two passengers, who were washed away by the Olifantspruit in Midstream continued in the Irene area. On Wednesday, 9 February 2022 at approximately 11h50, search teams located the body of a female believed to be that of the Uber passenger. “
“The search for a man who was in his boat with a friend that was washed over the dam wall in the Roodeplaat Dam on 5 February 2022,was resumed after the SAPS called off the search on the afternoon of 6 February 2022.” Search teams discovered the body of the man. The teams discovered the body about 13h30 downstream from the dam, near the SAPS K9 Unit and Moloto Road.
“On Saturday evening, 5 February 2022, a man was rescued from a truck that overturned in a crossing bridge by City of Tshwane emergency rescue crew at rescue team in Bosplaas, Hamanskraal. The man managed to climb on top of the overturned truck until he was rescued.”
“Activated temporary shelters in Mamelodi (Nellmapius and Mamelodi West Halls), Hammanskraal (Sebothoma Hall) and Pretoria West (Transoranje) continue to offer social and primary healthcare support to the affected who registered for temporary sheltering. About 1 011 affected people in shelters and communities that were affected but who did not require temporary shelters, were issued with relief support that included blankets, matrasses, warm meals and food parcels”.
“Mop-up operations started in Centurion on Sunday, 6 February 2022, where the City’s utility services teams started cleaning debris on the roads that were affected, as well as around Centurion Lake. Most of the affected routes have been reopened for traffic. These operations are in progress while assessments of the extent of the damages are taking place. Mop-up operations are also underway in Mamelodi and no roads have been closed in that area.”
Emergency vehicles and helicopters were dispatched to several areas, including Eerste Fabriek in Mamelodi, where about 60 people who sought refuge on their rooftops refused to be evacuated. “Two SAPS choppers conducted an aerial assessment of the area and identified about 60 people on rooftops of their dwellings. The people, however, when the members of the SAPS and rescue teams tried to evacuate them, hauled insults at the teams and threw objects at them,” Mabaso said. He added that when rescue efforts were called off for the day on Saturday, the situation at Eerste Fabriek had been handed over to the community leaders. “By the end of the business day, there had not been feedback in terms of if the people agreed to be evacuated. During the day we withdrew our mobile command centre to the municipal office in Mamelodi after seeing that the situation around there is starting to become volatile. And we left it to the leaders to engage the people and we indicated that should there be an agreement, we will then move in to assist those people,” Mabaso said.
“Rescue teams also responded to an incident in Babelegi in Hamanskraal where a person was reported to have been swept away by water. The search for the person was called off because visibility and safety challenges for the team. The search resumed the next day.”
“Households that were affected by the flooding and offered social relief by the Social Development and Disaster Risk Management are from Eesterust, Mamelodi (information settlements), Gomora in Pretoria West, Soshanguve Block KK, Onverwacht in Cullinan, Hamanskraal and Marikana in Centurion”, said Mabaso.
Source: Charles Mabaso, deputy chief: public information and liaison officer, City of Tshwane Emergency Services