One dead, one missing in Southern Cape flooding

A 12-year-old boy drowned and a 65-year-old man is missing in flooding caused by heavy rains in the Southern Cape, police said on Friday.

Captain Malcolm Pojie said the young boy from Harkerville, about 5km to 10km outside Plettenberg Bay, was playing with friends along the banks of a river swollen by rain when he was swept downstream.

Police and rescue workers were also searching for a 65-year-old man who went to fetch a water pump near Hoekville in Wilderness. Pojie said search-and-rescue dogs had been brought in to help find the man.

Earlier on Friday, a bus with ten passengers on board was swept down a river in Oudtshoorn. The passengers were rescued by helicopter and received counselling after their traumatic experience, Pojie said.

While many roads were closed during the day, all major roads were reopened by Friday evening. Police and emergency workers, however, remained on standby as the rains continued.

Police also had helicopters on standby should they need to reach remote areas, Pojie said.

Meanwhile, South African National Parks spokesperson Wanda Mkutshulwa said the Nature’s Valley park in Tsitsikamma had been closed as driving in the area was hazardous due to land slides. The Wilderness National Park in Wilderness was also closed as it was entirely flooded.

However, the Storms River Mouth rest camp remained opened.

Tsitsikamma district residents were earlier evacuated by the Cacadu municipality’s disaster management team, due to heavy rains, the South African Weather Service said on Friday.—Sapa

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