Two people missing in Orange River floods, many misplaced

2011-01-17 13:12

 Two people are missing and some 400 have been evacuated along the flooded Orange River between Upington and Kakamas in the Northern Cape, officials said today.

Spokesperson for the Siyanda district municipality Gilbert Lategan said police divers and air force personnel were on the look out for two people apparently missing after walking near the flooded river.

“On Saturday a man apparently visited a bridge at an island near Keimoes and now he is missing.”

Lategan said the second man went missing at Kanon Island after he went to the river and “tested the water”.

Police divers were on searching for the two men.

Lategan urged residents no stay away from the river.

Some 400 residents on 21 islands had been moved to higher ground or places of safety in the district in the past week.

At the Keimoes school hostel people were given food and shelter. Another 65 were been accommodated at the Roman Catholic hall at Kanon Island.

Another 100 people from Pokkies Island near Upington were also helped with food and shelter.

A South African National Defence Force spokesperson Colonel Kobus Etzebeth said helicopters would again visit some islands along the Orange River to supply food parcels.

The army would also help residents cut off by flooding who were in need of urgent medicine.

The air force was also working in collaboration with the police divers to look for missing people or help those cut off from supplies and services.

Lategan said many people would not be able to return to schools when the holiday ends on Wednesday in the Northern Cape.

“It would be a new problem for us to handle,” he said.

He said the Orange River level at Upington seemed to the subsiding, but was still 7.4 metres above its normal level.

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