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Eastern Cape floods claim three lives

A child drowned while trying to cross a flooded bridge in the Kwabhaca area, a woman was swept away in Mbizana and another person drowned in Ngqeleni.

FILE: Port St Johns after flooding hit after heavy rain in the area on 22 April 2019. Picture: @BantuHolomisa/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Flooding caused by heavy rainfall in the Eastern Cape has claimed three lives.

A child drowned while trying to cross a flooded bridge in the Kwabhaca area, a woman was swept away in Mbizana and another person drowned in Ngqeleni.

The incidents were confirmed by the Alfred Nzo Municipality.

At least 51 people are now confirmed dead in the flooding that hit parts of Durban and surrounding areas.

Authorities say five people remain unaccounted for and hundreds more have been displaced.

In another part of Eastern Cape, about 450 people have been affected by flooding in Port St Johns.

A spokesperson for the Alfred Nzo District Municipality, Lubabalo Majenge, said the child drowned in a river in the Lubhacweni village while trying to cross an overflowing bridge.

“The young girl who died was trying to get to the other part of the village when she was swept by the water and drowned.”

The woman drowned on Tuesday and is the second known person to have died during the floods.

“It’s unfortunate that we confirm the second death in the municipality as the results of the heavy rains. We believe the female was working for Expanded Public Works Programme in Mbizana,” Majenge said.

He said that many bridges have been washed away across the district in many villages.

Meanwhile, in Port St Johns, numerous residents who’ve been affected by the heavy rains are being housed at local halls.

The Port St Johns Local Municipality said that the affected residents are being assisted with food and blankets.

At the same time, the South African Weather Service has issued a watch for severe thundershowers in the Eastern Cape, which could lead to more floods.

Areas which could be affected include Port Alfred, East London, and Port St Johns.

SA weather service forecaster Edward Engelbrecht said: “We have a watch out for severe storms that may lead to rainfall in that area for the coastline between Port Alfred up to Port St Johns.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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