'No one reported missing' – Tshwane EMS on suspected drownings in Apies River

Flooding in Pretoria. (Image via Twitter)
Flooding in Pretoria. (Image via Twitter)

The Tshwane Emergency Services (EMS) cannot confirm whether two people had drowned in the Apies River on Sunday because "no one has been reported missing as yet".

EMS spokesperson Johan Pieterse told News24 on Sunday evening a community member told them about two bodies found on Sunday morning.

"We are not sure if they have drowned. We were alerted by someone who was next to the river banks that he had seen something that looked like two bodies coming down the river. It can't be confirmed but we cannot just leave it. We will resume our search at 08:00 on Monday," said Pieterse.

He said their search and rescue unit and the police's diving unit had responded to the scene, close to the low water bridge in Capital Park, and searched on the riverbanks for the bodies.

The river was still flooded and too dangerous for search and rescue teams to enter the water.

"I believe that everything might go back to normal from tomorrow (Monday)," said Pieterse.

The Tshwane EMS attended to various flooding incidents since Saturday afternoon when a thunderstorm with strong winds and hail approached Tshwane from the south.

SEE: Hail, flooding, strong winds batter Gauteng

Extremely severe weather conditions have lashed parts of Gauteng on Saturday, with cars being caught up in flash floods and roads blocked by hail.

"The initial storm started in the East Rand and swept through Tshwane, more specifically the northern and western areas that were the most affected from around 13:00 continuing throughout the night. Storm water drains were blocked and could not handle the massive amount of water, hail and debris entering certain areas," Pieterse said earlier in a statement.

He said the most severe floods were observed in Hammanskraal, Temba, Pretoria West and Pretoria North. 

Low water bridges were also affected in the Centurion area as the Hennops River was also in full flood for a considerable period of time.

Many trees were also uprooted and those that fell on the roadways were cleared by emergency services and roads and storm water section, according to Pieterse.

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