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Cape Town disaster response teams start clean up

by Bathandwa Mbola
on 07 Jul 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Disaster Response Teams of the City of Cape Town are busy with mopping-up operations across the city following the recent widespread rain which caused localised flooding.

"Currently disaster response teams are assessing reported affected areas to determine the number of dwellings that have been flooded and 3 600 structures in 23 informal settlements have been verified," said the municipality on Monday.

This after persistent downpour in the worst winter storm this season, made hundreds of families flee for shelter, while homes in informal settlements in low-lying areas were severely damaged.

Hundreds of people on the Cape Flats are taking refuge in community halls to escape heavy rains and disaster relief in the form of hot meals, blankets and emergency shelter are being provided to the flood victims, said Cape Town Disaster Management Spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

Speaking to BuaNews he identified that the areas worst affected were Philippi and nearby Kosovo, Kensington, Gugulethu, Langa and Khayelitsha and about 16 000 residents are in need of help.

Their homes have been soaked and damaged and a number of roads had flooded, causing scores of accidents, he said.

However, he said residents were being supplied with hot meals and blankets and emergency shelters had been made available.

Asked if the temporary shelters for people from other countries were affected, he said only one incident had been reported.

"No problems are being experienced at the five safety zones established for the victims of violence, with the exception of Youngsfield where flooding of tents has occurred," he told BuaNews.

He said the reason specific areas had flooded was "due to the high water table and limited run-off capacity.

"In some areas the ground is saturated and as it continues to rain, the water is not flowing away. "

The South African Weather Service website had warned that persistent periods of rain would continue through Monday which could result in flooding in the Boland and Cape Metropole.

The weather services said the rain might continue until Thursday because of continuous frontal systems which would hit.

In this regard, the metropolitan has issued guidelines for residents to reduce their vulnerability to flooding by implementing the following steps:

* Checking that the drainage system on your property is not blocked;

* Raise the floor level of your house to be higher than the land outside;

* Move to higher ground if you stay in a flood-prone area;

* Dig furrows around the house to divert water away from the home;

* Report any blocked drains, intakes and illegal dumping and

* Clear gutters, down-pipes and furrows.

Residents are also advised to remove dead branches from trees and secure furniture that can be blown over by wind. - BuaNews


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