Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
9 Jan 2022
9:51 pm

Eastern Cape floods: Inter-ministerial disaster task team to meet this week

Cheryl Kahla

Clean-up operations are underway after heavy rain and flooding left six dead and many homeless.

Photo: ANC Eastern Cape.

Hundreds of homes were washed away during the Eastern Cape floods over the weekend, leaving many residents destitute and without shelter.

Sudden rains pounded parts of the province on Saturday and within hours, low lying areas were severely flooded.

East London recorded 58mm of rain in 24 hours, as per figures released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Sunday.

Eastern Cape floods, January 2022

Flooding and heavy rain

The Buffalo City Metro Municipality activated its disaster management teams over the weekend to assist residents in informal settlements affected by the torrential rains.

The municipality said houses and informal settlements in and around the metro were left severely damaged by the harsh weather conditions.

“The heavy rains have left scores of residents mainly in the township of Mdantsane displaced, with roads in some parts completely submerged making access to distressed communities that much more difficult”.

The municipality confirmed Zones 1, 3, 9 and 18, as well as Joe Slovo informal settlement, were among the hardest-hit in the region.

Task team to meet this week

As part of the efforts by the Eastern Cape government to assess the damage caused by recent floods, Premier Oscar Mabuyane and his Executive Council visited affected areas on Sunday.

Furthermore, the provincial inter-ministerial disaster task team is scheduled to discuss plans to bring relief to affected areas this week.

Emergency teams, volunteers and charity organisations have been assisting those most at risk, while Premier Mabuyane vowed to do his part as well.

WATCH: Parts of Eastern Cape underwater after severe floods

Easter Cape clean-up efforts

Gift of the Givers assisted residents in Mdantsane, Duncan Village in East London, Dutywa, and Buffalo City Metro by providing warm meals and sleeping bags.

The disaster relief organisation said it received requests for help from community leaders, local mayors, Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha, and Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi.

“Desperate residents tried in vain to salvage mud-damaged furniture, clothing, food, dishes, stationery and school uniforms”, the organisation said in a statement.

“These essentials for day to day living are extremely difficult to come by in the current economic environment”.

ALSO READ: NGO helps Eastern Cape residents stranded by floods

Six people dead

Six people – including a police diver – have been killed in flash flooding following torrential rains, EC Premier Oscar Mabuyane said on Sunday.

Fifty-three-year-old Captain Pierre Marx went missing while he attended to a drowning distress call with team member divers from East London K9 Search and Rescue on Saturday evening

When the team arrived at the scene to assess the situation, they established the complainant was on the Island in the mainstream of the Nahoon River together with three deceased, whilst the fourth one was still missing.

READ MORE: Rescue officer dead after being swept away on the job

Additional reporting by Getrude Makhafola and Narissa Subramoney.