Heavy rains have claimed the lives of more people in the Eastern Cape. The death toll has now risen to 10. Provincial Disaster Management spokesperson John Fobian says the latest victims are from kwaNobuhle in Uitenhage in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Horseshoe Valley in East London and Mthatha.
He says rain fell overnight in Port Elizabeth and caused further run-offs as the ground is already saturated. There are still a number of road closures throughout the province.
Meanwhile, residents of the small seaside town of Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape are devastated after a dam burst, causing serious damage to properties, roads and bridges. Port Alfred had 387 millimetres of rain in the past week – the highest in the province.
Joan Barkley, a guest house owner in the town, says storm water has severely damaged her R4 million property and its contents. Barkley says, “It’s huge, its beyond compare, I don’t know what to say. At this stage words can’t even describe anything. We just have to wait and hear what the assessor says, whether they will knock it down and rebuild we don’t know at this stage. Of course we have a loss of business because this is a guest house and we can’t operate.”
Port Alfred resident Ernest Rothman says this is the biggest disaster they have witnessed in the last 50 years. “I can’t recall anything worse off in my lifetime here, so I think its going to be a long time before they get back to normal here. To pump out this water here could take about two weeks. It is a mini dam really,” says Rothman .