Heavy rains have unleashed devastating floods, resulting in two fatalities in Overberg region, Western Cape. Emergency Services spokesman Reinard Geldenhuys from the Overberg District Municipality confirmed the tragic incident, explaining that the individuals were swept away at different locations.
According to Geldenhuys, the victims were swept away by the powerful floodwaters in Villiersdorp and near the Botriver bridge. The bodies have been recovered following an extensive search conducted by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Additionally, emergency response teams have been busy rescuing and evacuating those in need. Seven families, who were stranded on the rooftops of their homes, were promptly rescued and safely relocated by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). In a separate incident, approximately 30 individuals were rescued after the Klein River overflowed. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Overstand Fire and Rescue services played crucial roles in this operation. Furthermore, an NSRI team was dispatched to rescue four stranded individuals in the Greyton area, while the Overstrand District Fire and Rescue services provided support.
However, the recent collapse of the Botriver bridge on the N2 has impeded rescue operations in the affected areas. This, coupled with numerous road closures in the Overberg region, has isolated several towns and communities. Geldenhuys expressed concern about these challenges, describing the loss of the bridge as particularly severe.
Throughout the day, the EMS and Fire & Rescue services have undertaken numerous additional rescue missions and evacuations in different locations across the region, diligently working to assist those affected by the floods.