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Snow-trapped farmers evacuated

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Karoo Backpackers

The Molteno Pass, just outside Beaufort West. Photo: Karoo Backpackers

Central Karoo - More people, including a new-born baby, trapped in the snow on farms in the central Karoo will be evacuated by helicopter, a Western Cape official said on Tuesday.

Local government spokesman Peter Pullen said disaster teams accompanying SA National Defence Force helicopters have visited three farms which were cut off in the Beaufort West district.

Eight men, including two boys, were brought back to town after the first flights.

Pullen said the relief teams had also dropped baby packs, food, blankets, and firewood at some farms.

“Another 12 people will be evacuated with the next flight.”

A new-born baby and its mother were expected to be among the second group.

Cape Town disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said one of the teams was preparing to bring back the baby from a place near the farm Matjiesfontein in the snow-covered mountains.

Paramedics would accompany the team.

The mother and child would be taken to the Beaufort West hospital where they would be examined.

Solomons-Johannes said the baby was born late on Saturday and the gender was unknown.

Meanwhile some rural roads were opened by authorities and 4x4 vehicles could now reach farms previously cut off.

Pullen said the next round of helicopter flights would take more provisions to stranded people.

“The helicopters will function all day.”

Pullen said additional food, blankets, and firewood would also arrive from Cape Town later on Tuesday. - Sapa


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