Kruger Park 80% functional - CEO

2012-01-19 15:20
Video

Kruger flooding

2012-01-19 10:31

Watch this video of Letaba Rest Camp in flood in the Kruger National Park. WATCH

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - The Kruger National Park was 80% functional by Thursday afternoon after heavy rains earlier in the week, SA National Parks (SANParks) said.

"A few tents were damaged, but our tourism facilities stood the test of the flood," chief executive David Mabunda said.

Water pumps and pipelines along river banks were damaged, but the park's engineering team was already working to restore the water supply to affected areas.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported, although six foreign tourists - four Italian and two British - were washed away in their car near Hamilton tent camp, he said.

People cut off

The tourists were taken to doctors at Skukuza for treatment.

In the north of the park, 26 people remained cut off and rangers were re-routing them to safety.

Another 22 people remained trapped at Biyamiti camp - one of the smaller accommodation sites.

Some guests who were trapped in cars had been rescued by Thursday morning. SANParks had kept their families updated on the situation.

Mabunda said no animal casualties or fatalities had been reported.

It appeared that the wildlife had sensed the approaching danger as most had migrated to higher ground days before.

Anti-poaching measures continued despite the floods, and Mabunda warned poachers that the wet ground would make it easier for rangers to track them.

The heavy rains were a "large infrequent event that tests the resilience of the ecosystem".

Positive effects of the flood were that previously dry areas were hydrated, while sediments and invasive plants were washed away.

‘Nature replenished itself’

Aquatic species were also afforded the opportunity to recolonise by the unusual conditions.

"Nature has replenished itself... events like this recharge the environment," Mabunda said.
In terms of future tourism revenue, the flood was likely to have a positive effect because "whenever an event of this nature occurs, we usually get more visitors".

Early projections from the chief engineer indicated that the park infrastructure would be completely fixed within six months, he said.

The Talamati, Buyamiti, and Shimuwini camps were still cut off, spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said in a statement on the SANParks website.

The Talamati and Balule camps were flooded, while six tents at Lower Sabie had to be evacuated.

The staff village, camping site, swimming pool, and filling station at Letaba were swamped.

At Skukuza, a staff house was flooded and the indigenous nursery was damaged, but the water level had come to rest on the boundary fence. No serious damage had been reported at the rest camp.

Guests evacuated

The road between Skukuza and Tskokwane was still closed with the high level bridge intact, but blocked by debris.

The Crocodile Bridge road remained shut, but the rest camp of the same name was undamaged as the water had stopped rising 50m from the fence.

All gravel roads south of the Letaba River were still closed.

On Wednesday, precautionary evacuations were carried out in low-lying areas, including staff accommodation and river-view chalets.

Some guests had to be evacuated to accommodation outside the game reserve.

Residents supplied by the Ntunda, Sibange, Langeloop, and Masibekela water treatment plants would be provided with water, said Mpumalanga co-operative governance spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene.

Department head David Mahlobo and Nkomazi mayor Thuli Khoza had conducted an assessment of flood damage in Nkomazi, he said.

The areas most affected were Tonga, Block A, B and C, Masibekela, Driekoppies, Mangweni, Steenbok, Naas, and Sibange.

"Fourteen families have been affected and need reallocation, while 16 families were affected without needing to be relocated," Kunene said.

All the families would receive food parcels and blankets.

The municipality posted signs to redirect traffic on roads and bridges deemed unsafe after heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kunene said his department would engage with the department of public works and the SA National Roads Agency Limited to repair damage, such as debris and potholes caused by the flood.
- SAPA

Read more on:    sanparks  |  polokwane  |  mbombela  |  weather
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.