MIL-OSI Africa: Buffalo City search and rescue operations continue

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Source: South Africa News Agency

Search and rescue operations continue in the Buffalo City Metro in the Eastern Cape which has been hit by inclement weather.

“The Buffalo City Metro is intervening in areas that have been impacted by floods… Rescue operations are continuous as emergency teams remain on high alert. Search and rescue teams are still searching for a missing 20-year-old who was washed away near Dawn in East London,” the metro said in a statement on Monday.

The metro reported that a pedestrian was fatally knocked down in a flooded street in Westbank over the weekend while a 13-year-old was recued in Amalinda Forest.

In an update at 1:30pm, the metro said that 1300 people had been displaced by the floods.

“Displaced residents have been accommodated in community halls in Mdantsane, Braelyn and Mzamomhle whilst others are being moved to chalets, old age homes and temporary housing structures.”

Eleven wards across the metro have been affected including areas like Ducats, Pefferville, Duncan Village, Cambridge Location, Mzamomhle, Reeston, Stoney Drift, Mdantsane and Gompo.

The metro is also working with the Department of Social Development together with non-government organisations Gift of the Givers and Living Hope to assist with clothes, groceries, blankets and food parcels.

The metro’s executive Mayor Princess Faku visited Duncan Village, Mdantsane and Stoney Drift with Gift of the Givers on Monday morning.

In addition, the metro is engaging with the Department of Human Settlements to avail temporary relocation structures.

“Thus far, 800 temporary structures are being verified to be included in the database.”

This as the metro is dealing with 379 electrical fault cases in various areas in East London, Mdantsane and eQonce.

“All teams have been assigned to the different regions. The main challenge is fallen electrical poles leading to cables and transformers being dysfunctional.”

Rescue operations

In East London yesterday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), South African Police Services (SAPS), Police Dive Unit, Police K9 Search and Rescue responded to a sailing yacht with a jetty saving a passenger barge from sinking.

Also, Priority Care Ambulance Services, Buffalo City Metro (BCM) Traffic Services and Emergency Services responded to 10 flood-related incidents at various locations around East London.

In one scene, six people (four adults, one aged 80, and two children) were rescued from a flooded home, where their two dogs drowned.

Roads and beaches

The heavy rains have posed challenges for the city’s storm water drainage systems resulting in the blockage of major roads such as Settlersway, Biko Bride from Westbank to East London CBD, Cambridge Cemetery, Duncan Village, Cc Loyd Township, Parkridge and Scenery Park.

The Disaster Management Service has conducted an initial damages assessment and the city’s Infrastructure, Traffic, Fire and Rescue Services have been instrumental in clearing of blockages.

“The metro is advising motorists to be cautious around flooded roads and bridges. Communities and motorists are urged to be extra cautious and report any incidents.”

The metro has urged residents to contact emergency services call centre on (043) 705 9000 and their respective ward councilors for assistance.

The city has set up a Disaster Management Operations Centre which is being chaired by the Mayor and includes disaster management, law enforcement, traffic, fire, police lifesaving, EMS Ambulance services and the NSRI.

Meanwhile, all metro beaches remain closed.

The metro is still urging residents to be on high alert as more disruptive rain is predicted.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in the floods. This as seven lives have been lost in the Eastern Cape. – SAnews.gov.za

MIL OSI Africa