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More deaths as rain batters Swaziland

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IOL pic mar11 floods hazyview file

Independent Newspapers

The Sand River in Mpumalanga became a raging torrent after the recent heavy rains in South Africa. Mozambique and Swaziland are also suffering as the wet weather continues. File picture: Itumeleng English

 

Durban - Eight people have died in flooding in Swaziland since the weekend, where heavy rains have entered their second week.

Downpours have washed away bridges and sections of rural roads and left city centres flooded.

Two pupils died while attempting to cross a river to get to school, while a six-year-old boy slipped into a flooded pit latrine and drowned.

Two men, a two-year-old boy, a 16-year-old boy and a 67-year-old woman drowned in the Mbabane, Mlumati and Mlambothwala rivers, according to police reports.

 

 

The heavy rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal over the past few days is expected to continue this week, with forecasters warning of the possibility of localised flooding.

Senior South African Weather Service forecaster Mkhushulwa Msimanga said there was a high probability of rain falling until Thursday, but warmer conditions could be expected at the weekend.

Transport spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said on Monday that “a few accidents” had been reported since the rains began on Sunday.

“A team was sent out this morning (yesterday) to inspect the roads, but there was not much damage, except for a few trees that had fallen down,” he said.

ER24 spokeswoman Luyanda Majija said at least 13 accidents had been reported to paramedics since Sunday.

In one of the accidents, a head-on collision between two taxis on Bester Road, KwaMashu, a 12-year-old schoolgirl and a woman in her 30s died.

Rainfall was heaviest in Kokstad, which received 48.2mm on Sunday night. More than 40mm also fell in Mtunzini, Zululand.

In Limpopo, a 69-year-old woman who was swept away with her husband while swimming in Bela-Bela had yet to be found on Monday, police said.

 

The couple were in an undercover swimming pool at the Kariba Lodge on Friday when the Bela-Bela dam overflowed and the water swept them away.

The body of the 74-year-old man was found on Saturday.

In Tshwane, flooding continued on Monday as rivers overflowed, the city’s emergency services spokesman, Johan Pieterse, said. The areas affected were Centurion, Hammanskraal, Atteridgeville, Soshanguve, and Ga-Rankuwa.

None of the areas had been evacuated.

 

People in parts of southern Mozambique have been advised to evacuate in the face of serious flooding.

Fevereiro village, near the Inkomati River basin, in the district of Manhica, is among the places affected.

“We are calling on the population to leave,” said Rita Almeida, a spokeswoman for Mozambique’s national disaster management institute.

According to the authorities, more than 6 000 people living in the Inkomati basin are at risk.

 

More rain is expected in the coming days. –

Additional reporting by Sapa-AFP

The Mercury


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