Flood death toll rises to three

2011-01-05 13:43

Three people were killed due to flooding in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal MEC Nomusa Dube said today.

“Three people have died since the flooding started. Lots of houses were damaged especially in Driefontein. In one situation the house fell on one woman and she was lucky to survive,” Dube said.

It started raining in the Ladysmith area on December 31 when one person died in Roosboom.

Two other people died while trying to cross a stream in Ladysmith yesterday.

“At this stage it is still early to declare Ladysmith a disaster area. The disaster management team is still dealing with the situation,” she said.

Yesterday, around 50 houses were flooded and the central business district was brought to a standstill.

One of the two main roads, close to the Klip River, was flooded. Many businesses along the road had to close.

In the rural parts of Ladysmith, in Roosboom and Driefontein, about 50 houses were flooded.

The people of Driefontein had to be housed in a community hall.

Ladysmith deputy mayor Fana Madlala said it was still raining in Ladysmith today but the situation was improving.

“It’s better today [Wednesday] although we have water, the situation is better. No injuries were reported as well,” said Madlala.

He said the main road had been opened but the taxi rank was still closed.

“There were reports that we could experience more problems with traffic around 1pm. We will try to keep the situation under control.”

Osman Amla, a computer shop owner in the Ladysmith central business district, said they had been inconvenienced.

“From a business angle we had lost because people could not come into our shops because of the water in the streets. Things have improved today [Wednesday],” said Amla.

Dube said her department would bring in engineers to assess Ladysmith’s infrastructure.

“We will be bringing in engineers to asses the whole infrastructure of the city, looking at planning and systems in place, and assess the whole capacity.”

She called on businesses to assist people whose houses were flooded with food and blankets.

“Upon meeting with the families we will hear where government can assist families who have lost loved ones,” she said.

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