Nine people died in two separate flood-related accidents following heavy rainfall in some parts of the Western Cape earlier this week.
In one incident, five occupants of a vehicle travelling on High Noon Pass in Caledon saw a big mass of water coming towards them, said provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa.
Apparently, they jumped out of the vehicle and were washed away. The bodies of four females and one male were found, said Africa.
The Theewaterskloof municipality said it learned with shock that five people died at Kaaimansgat at High Noon, near Villiersdorp, after their vehicle was swept away by rushing water.
“It seems that 20mm of rain fell within about 10 minutes and that caused the flood,” said the municipality.
Spokesperson Hugo Geldenhuys said there was no further information about the incident and referred queries to the Villiersdorp SAPS.
Yesterday, the SA Weather Service said severe thunderstorms were expected over the central, southern and northern parts of the Northern Cape, the central Karoo in the Western Cape, the central and northern interior of the Eastern Cape, south-western KwaZulu-Natal and southern Free State from the afternoon.
Theewaterskloof mayor Christelle Vosloo said: “I learned with great shock and sadness of the death of five people when the vehicle they were travelling in was swept away by floodwaters.
Given the drought in the area, the downpour was not anticipated.
“This is a very sad situation and my heart goes out to the relatives of those who lost their lives. I will visit the families of the deceased to convey my sympathy personally. I am thankful for the community who is assisting the grieving families.”
In another incident in the Montagu area, four male occupants of a vehicle lost their lives due to flooding.
Africa said there had been no major delays as both accidents happened off national roads.
“There are no major problems currently with regards to the massive water that we had yesterday (Tuesday).
“In the one accident between Montagu and the N2, Touwsrivier, it was a farm road where the vehicle was washed away with four people. The other one was on the main road to the High Noon pass,” he said. This is really unexpected rainfall we are experiencing. A person can never say where and when it is going to happen.
“The unexpected mass of water coming from the mountain it’s very difficult to predict because you don’t know where it will hit you,” said Africa.