Rescue SA reaches isolated Malawi villages

Rescue SA is delivering food to locals that have been affected by flash floods and heavy rains.

Rescue SA team members battle to free a truck used to deliver food aid to flood victims from the mud on 24 January 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

MALAWI - The South African rescue team in Malaw i has reached some of the most isolated villages in the country, delivering food to locals that have lost nearly all of their possessions in flash floods and heavy rains.

The team has been unable to proceed through deep muds with trucks supplied by the Malawian military due to a week of heavy rains that's destroyed roads.

The inclement weather has damaged more than 21,000 homes in that country.

The Rescue SA team is one of the first missions en route to help.

The back wheels of the military trucks are submerged in the mud up to the axle at a 45 degree angle and the team spent nearly an entire day trying to get it out.

Last night they were forced to sleep in the back of the supply truck and today two Land Rovers have been sent to pull it out with chains.

But so far this has not worked and technician Colin van Niekerk says they don't have the right equipment to get the job done.

"We've got two bottle jacks, one 12-time bottle jack and one 20-time bottle jack. We've got a couple of planks and some rocks. That's basically what we've got to work with."

Rescue SA's specialised equipment and medical gear have not left South Africa as they failed to secure clearance from customs officials in Johannesburg for the flight to Blantyre.

Images by Aletta Gardner