Hundreds evacuated after severe EC flooding

Port St. Johns residents sheltering in the town hall and local church halls after their homes were flooded.
Port St. Johns residents sheltering in the town hall and local church halls after their homes were flooded.
Image: SIKHO NTSHOBANE

At least 300 people have been evacuated from flooded homes in and around Port St Johns.

On Tuesday morning, municipal bosses convened an urgent meeting with different stakeholders including the department of social development and the public works department, South African National Defence Force, O.R. Tambo district municipality and its disaster management officials to “try and get people to advise us on what can be done so that this[flooding]does not happen again”, according to Port St Johns mayor Nomvuzo Mlombile-Cingo.

Port St Johns municipal manager Tshaka Hlazo meanwhile confirmed that evacuation efforts were still continuing.

“We continue to get calls from people in distress who want to be helped with evacuations,” he told journalists who rushed to Port St Johns on Tuesday morning.

Port St Johns corporate services offices in surrounded by water following the heavy rains.
Port St Johns corporate services offices in surrounded by water following the heavy rains.
Image: SIKHO NTSHOBANE

Hlazo also revealed that those who were rescued on Monday had been provided with food and blankets courtesy of local businesses.

He said the meeting was to try and find a lasting resolution. He said a letter had also been written to the national human settlements department to help provide temporary shelters.

“The letter will identify how many temporary structures will be provided and also which suitable land will be identified where they would be placed.

“We want to come out with a plan so that our people do not get to suffer like this ever again.”

Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle has sent Cogta MEC Fikile Xasa to Port St Johns and Phola Park, one of the informal settlements in Mthatha which has also experienced similar flooding.

Spokesperson in the office of the Premier's office, Sizwe Kupelo told Daily Dispatch that Masualle wanted Xasa to assess the situation and compile a report on the causes and what cause of action the Premier's office needed to take.

X