Deadly flooding hits South Africa in the wake of Dineo

Deadly flooding hits South Africa in the wake of Dineo

Three people have died and two are missing after heavy rain hit South Africa's North West causing severe flooding in the wake of Tropical Cyclone "Dineo."

Major roads in the South Africa's North West province have been temporarily closed due to flooding on Tuesday, February 21. The worst affected were Ratlou, Kagisano – Molopo, Greater Taung, Ramotshere Moiloa, Mahikeng, Moses Kotane, Rustenburg, Maquassi Hills and Matlosana.

"It's very hectic with the flooding," a spokesperson for the North West department of community safety and transport management said.

He added that Wolmaransstad had experienced severe flooding, causing the closure of the N12 running through the small North West town since midday on Tuesday. The Makwassie creek bursts its banks and flooded nearby houses and businesses causing substantial damages.

Officials said Wednesday that three people have died in the province. A primary school boy drowned while attempting to cross a stream while tow others were killed when their vehicle was swept away by overflows.

Flooding has also affected areas of KwaZulu-Natal province, including Durban and Newcastle. In Mafodobo, a woman and her 15 month old baby have been washed away by floodwaters. Late Thursday, February 23, the police said they are still missing.

National disaster service said that at 20 houses had been damaged in Mpumalanga and up to five in Limpopo.

South Africans have been urged today to beware rains still fall across much of the central and northern parts of the country.  Localized flooding is possible in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, southern areas of Limpopo and eastern parts of North West province due to already saturated ground.

However, while some are dealing with devastating floods, others rejoice as dams which recently reached critical levels are now filling up fast. The Vaal Dam is currently at 88.48% and is expected to be full by the end of the weekend, for the first time in years. Just 4 months ago, it was at 26%.

Still, the Department of Water and Sanitation appealed to South Africans to continue their adherence to water restrictions until further notice.

Featured image: Heavy rain caused severe flooding in Wolmaransstad, South Africa on February 21, 2017. Credit: Worsdier

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