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Minister Nkadimeng Directs the National Disaster Management Centre to Coordinate Teams to Respond to Floods and Inclement Weather in Parts of the Eastern Cape

Following heavy summer rainfall, some parts of the country are experiencing flooding, especially in the Eastern Cape’s Mnquma, Mbashe, King Sabatha Dalindyebo, Nyandeni, Port St Johns, Ingquza and Mbizana municipal areas.

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Ms Thembisile Nkadimeng noted that the highest amounts of rainfall received have affected communities at varying degrees. These continuing rains across some parts of our country are endangering the lives of communities and placing them at risk of flooding.

Based on these reports and the weather forecast for the next couple of days as issued by the South African Weather Service. Minister called on all sectors to mobilise assistance and resources so as to respond adequately and save the lives and livelihoods of the affected communities.

The South African Weather Service issued a level 2 yellow warning today for heavy rain causing localized flooding in affected areas, and communities in these regions are advised to remain vigilant. The warning level is expected to rise to level 6 due to heavy rainfall still expected tomorrow morning.

The heavy rains resulted in the flooding of homes, businesses, and public infrastructure.

The Minister has directed the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to remain in contact with the provincial and district disaster Management Centres. Disaster Management Teams from across all spheres of government will continue to be on standby to provide assistance where required as well as to ensure coordinated response as swiftly as possible to limit the negative impact of the floods on our communities.

As more rains are still expected, Minister urges the public to be extra vigilant and exercise caution, especially in areas prone to flooding and also follow the regular updates and warning messages from the SAWS.

Additionally, communities are urged to work with relevant authorities by following their instructions to ensure everyone’s safety.

The following tips are important and can save lives:

– Everyone is urged to be vigilant, cautious, and to heed the calls from relevant authorities.
– People living in low-lying areas must take special care during storms, as sudden floods might affect them. They should monitor the rising water levels and evacuate the areas to a safer place or higher spot when the water level rises.
– Do not cross through flooded roads or bridges – use other routes.
– Avoid crossing low-lying bridges, streams and rivers.
– Never try to walk, swim or drive in swift-flowing water. Even if the water is 15 cm deep, it can sweep you off your feet;
– Motorists must be very careful and avoid driving through flooded areas.
– Drive to and park in safer areas.
– The public must monitor weather alerts on radio and television.
– The public should contact their municipal disaster management centres or the nearest police station or call the national emergency numbers (112, 10177 or 107) when faced with threats.
– Do not try to drive over a low-water bridge if water is flowing strongly across it and the ground is not visible.
– Teach your children about the dangers of floods.
– Keep your important documents in a water-resistant container.
– Keep your cell phone in close proximity to you and have emergency numbers at hand.
– Be especially vigilant at night. It is harder to recognise potentially deadly road hazards.
– Do not camp or park your car along rivers or washes, especially during heavy rains or thunderstorms.
– If you are on foot, be aware that low-moving water can also be dangerous during flood conditions. If you come upon moving water, do not walk into it.
– Where possible, communities are encouraged to try to avoid contact with any flood waters. The water may be contaminated with raw sewage, oil or other dangerous substances, and may also be charged with electricity from fallen powerlines.

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