100+ still trapped in Western Cape snowfalls

2012-07-17 13:13
The Sneeuberg Mountains in the Eastern Cape (Chris Wels, MyNews24)

The Sneeuberg Mountains in the Eastern Cape (Chris Wels, MyNews24)

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SA tourists trapped in heavy snow

2012-07-17 08:36

SA tourists were stranded in heavy snow near the Afri-Ski Resort in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. They used their cars as temporary shelters until emergency vehicles arrived and the link road to the resort re-opened. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - More than 100 people were still trapped and isolated by heavy snowfalls in the central Karoo, a Cape Town disaster management spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“Approximately 120 people living on seven farms are isolated from civilisation due to the snowfalls in the Central Karoo district municipality,” said Wilfred Solomons-Johannes earlier.

Later however, he said that seven men and two teenage boys had been rescued from Matjiesfontein by disaster management teams on board an SANDF helicopter.

The SA National Defence Force will continue to search for persons in distress and will deploy its military aircraft in the affected areas.

Heavy rains also affected people in the Murraysburg region. Snowfall in the Western Cape and other areas resulted in motorists being trapped on roads and rural towns being cut off from the outside world.

Solomons-Johannes said an unknown number of farmworkers and their children were cut off in the Matjiesfontein region, with six families isolated at Klawervlei.

In Modderdrift, three families were affected; Grootvlei, four families; Renosterfontein, two families; Matjiesvlei, three families; and Wittehart, 10 families.

Cape Town disaster teams dispatched to Beaufort West brought dry wood, food parcels, blankets, and baby packs to the victims on Monday night.

“They are in an emergency meeting with the different municipalities now,” said Solomons-Johannes, adding that donations would be welcomed.

Donations

An information hotline was established and members of the public could contribute to the disaster relief operations by contacting the city's disaster risk management centre at 021 597 6004.

People could donate fresh or tinned food, wood, paraffin, blankets, and help transport these goods.

Cape Town councillor for safety and security, JP Smith, said the city had been asked to help the Western Cape government with logistical arrangements, and provide aid to people trapped in mountainous areas.

“The city indicated its willingness to support the Western Cape government and the affected municipalities in the spirit of co-operative governance,” he said.

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