Joy over rain marred as 9 drown in Western Cape floods
Cape Town, Feb. 14, 2018 (AltAfrika) -Nine people drowned in flash floods in the Western Cape, the province’s traffic chief said on Wednesday.
“In total nine people lost their lives in flooding in the Western Cape shortly after 12 o’clock,” said Kenny Africa.
He said four women and a man drowned when they jumped out of their car to get away from a big mass of water advancing toward them on the High Noon pass, outside Villiersdorp, in the Caledon area.
“The [five] occupants got a fright jumped out and the water washed them away,” said Africa.
That flash flood occurred near the Theewaterskloof Dam, one of the main suppliers to Cape Town, which is on severe water restrictions. The dam’s level has been extremely low.
In another incident in the Montagu area four men, a driver and three passengers, died after they could not escape flood waters bearing down on them.
This incident also happened around 00:00.
The Executive Mayor of Theewaterskoof, Councillor Christelle Vosloo, told News24 she was shocked by the news.
“Given the droughts in the area this tragedy could not be foreseen. The hearts of everyone on the Council of Theewaterskloof Municipality are going out to the families of the deceased. I will visit the families to convey my sympathy to them personally.
“I thank the community for its support to the families who lost loved ones. I pray that our Heavenly Father will guard over the grieving families in this sad and difficult times.”
She said damage assessments are currently underway.
The province is struggling through a crippling drought, with Tuesday’s rare rain celebrated before news of the tragedy struck.