Army on standby for floods

2011-01-14 14:25

Kimberley - The South African National Defence Force was on standby on Friday in case of flooding along the Orange River, after weeks of torrential downpours killed at least 32 people.

The river is expected to reach a flood peak on Friday in the town of Upington, at the edge of the Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape, as water released from over-filled dams moved downstream.

"It's flooded already, that's why we are there so that if it gets out of hand, we're there to do a quick response," said department of defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini.

"This weekend we're going to have a deluge of water coming down and the rivers will be flooded again."

The army search and rescue team lifted 11 marooned people off an island 40km south of Upington this week, while local authorities evacuated 22 families.

South Africa has been hit by heavy rains since December, prompting the opening of flood gates from dams along the Orange River and its main tributary, the Vaal, to ease pressure on capacity levels.

The Orange River is expected to hit a flood peak near its diamond-rich Atlantic Ocean mouth area on Wednesday.

More heavy rain is forecast this weekend for northeast regions including Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Preliminary government figures released on Wednesday said at least 32 people had been killed in bad weather since December.

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  • Melly30 - 2011-01-14 14:40

    Can they swim???

  • Wimpyburger - 2011-01-14 14:45

    Oh no, please not the SANDF. They have no serviceable vehicles left in their vehicle parks. The airforce have no money for feul. They will go on strike any minute after normal nockoff time (15H00) or perhaps even before it. They are a useless bunch of nogoods that shamed us as "peacekeepers" in Darfur. Keep them away...

  • 123online123 - 2011-01-14 14:46

    We prayed for rain and here it is.... - 2011-01-14 15:35

      yip and now the prayers has been answered but the rain is to much, God have no brakes, no we have to pray for the rain to

  • Francois B - 2011-01-14 15:28

    I just hope they have a lot of gravel, grass and mud available in case the are required to fill ditches...

      logical007 - 2011-01-15 13:28

      hopefully they know how to lift the entrances of houses along the orange river too??

  • 123online123 - 2011-01-14 15:33

    CNN and Skynews do not even mention SA when it comes to reporting on the weather patterns related to the flooding.

      watalife - 2011-01-14 15:44

      And why should they? What is your point actually?

      Blackpride - 2011-01-14 15:48

      Who cares about South Africa? Just because the country is full of people who are full of themselves does not mean that the world gives a dam. We are nothing in the greater scheme of things, except just another African country.

      Blah-blah - 2011-01-14 16:22

      Who cares - ask not what your TV can do for you, but what you can do for your fellow man:)

  • fumani4 - 2011-01-14 15:37

    i saw this coming many century ago and wrote moaning peom,warning people about global warming "Environment Pollution is Homicide - Visitor's Poem:" but fell in death ears.may God help us all.

      Blah-blah - 2011-01-14 16:32

      The only lonely voice of reason - thanks for caring. As you probably found out by now - money is the new god of the world and nothing you can say, will be taken seriously until "they" can make money from it. "They" also do not read poetry - hence the deaf ears - too busy making money and ruling governments. Of course - recycling has become quite big business and recycled anything is 1.5 - 4 times more expensive than their 'unfriendly' counterparts. So there is hope for your cause yet. Now, if we can just get rid of those pesky people who need electricity, cars and processed everything to leave the planet..:)

  • - 2011-01-14 16:14

    Eventually our BILLIONS of Rands are being put to use!!!!!

  • KanaMay - 2011-01-14 16:20

    The last time I read the news, the mortality count was about 10 due to Durban floods. Where did the other 20 people's death come from? At the Gauteng / Free State border or the regions along the N 12 ?

  • Blah-blah - 2011-01-14 16:21

    SA Floods: The SANDF has already executed successful rescues and evacuations (well done guys) and is on stand-by for further operations regarding the flooding. Furthermore, the flood prone areas have been quite well publicised and SA's emergency teams are counted amongst the best in the world, etc, etc. Sounds well thought through as far as a natural desaster goes. Of course there will be casualties and loss of property - not everything can be controlled in a situation such as this - nature is not our playmate. The poisoned pen gag gets old quickly and is only useful in some cases - this might not be one of them.

  • jacquesotto - 2011-01-14 16:57

    What defense force. They a bunch of twats sleeping on dustbins the whole day. I saw this with my own eyes. Fidelity security would probably defeat our defense force. I mean these days the personnel go home in the evenings and come back in the mornings. I mean look at Protea in Soweto that is where most of the so called personnel live. I mean when last did you see a army vehicle on the roads. Such large budgets but no one is at home.

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