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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Two People Feared Dead After Being Swept Away in Cape Floods

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Two people are feared to have lost their lives after being swept away by the relentless floodwaters in the regions of Villiersdorp and the Botriver bridge.

This calamity has prompted an extensive police search and rescue operation, as reported by Reinard Geldenhuys, the manager overseeing emergency services within the Overberg district municipality.

The area has been grappling with a series of emergencies, further exacerbating the crisis.

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On a harrowing Sunday night, the Elgin Timbers region witnessed the evacuation of seven families, executed by the efforts of EMS personnel.

As dawn broke on Monday, approximately 30 people found themselves in dire need of rescue when the Klein River burst its banks.

Teams from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Overstrand fire and rescue services promptly answered the call for assistance.

Meanwhile, another NSRI team embarked on a perilous mission to rescue four individuals stranded atop their rooftops in the Greyton area, with essential support from the Overstrand district fire and rescue services.

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Throughout the day, numerous smaller-scale rescues and evacuations were carried out by the diligent EMS and fire and rescue services teams.

The challenges arising from this crisis have been manifold, including multiple road closures that have effectively isolated various areas and towns within the Overberg district.

Of particular concern is the severe damage inflicted upon the Botriver bridge on the N2, which was washed away in the early hours of the morning.

Reports of power outages, disrupted water supply, and impaired cell communication have flooded in from across the district, and efforts are underway to address these vital infrastructure issues.

The extent of the devastation has extended to homes, businesses, and critical facilities, all of which have suffered significant damage.

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For those hoping for safe passage to or from Cape Town, Reinard Geldenhuys offers a grim warning: there are currently no secure routes available due to the ongoing emergency.

However, there is a glimmer of hope amid this tragedy.

Some roads are anticipated to reopen by Tuesday, offering a potential lifeline to those affected by these catastrophic floods.

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