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Boy, 8, reportedly drowns after flash flood hits Joburg, City activates emergency services

An eight-year-old boy reportedly drowned after flash floods hit Johannesburg following heavy rains on Saturday.

According to the City of Johannesburg, the boy drowned in the Mlhangeni informal settlement, Region B.

More than 200 households were affected by the floods, with the Jukskei River overflowing its banks.

Temporary accommodation for those affected have been provided but it was anticipated that more households could be affected, the City said.

Several accidents were also reported on the M1, M3 and N1 highways.

News24 previously reported Helen Joseph Hospital was inundated due to a blocked drain. 

Gauteng MMC for Public Safety Mally Mokoena said stormwater drains could not handle the heavy rains.

“The City experienced a flash flood beyond the capacity of its stormwater systems. Unfortunately, any severe storm or flash flood that occurs will result in isolated flooding as the road infrastructure is not designed for these severities,” he added.

Disaster response teams have convened at the Sandton fire station to assess the situation and provide updates.

“I wish to assure the public that EMS, a disaster management team, the JRA [Johannesburg Road Agency], social development, community development and City Power are working tirelessly to resolve the blockages and repair faulty traffic lights resulting from the flash floods.

“JMPD [Johannesburg Metro Police Department] officers have also been deployed to assist with traffic control at affected intersections.

“We are also aware of properties and infrastructure that have been damaged. I would also like to assure the public that the City is doing everything possible to assist communities and ensure that those affected are given emergency assistance,” Mokoena said.

The City has deployed EMS teams to provide medical care as well as conducting search and rescue operations, social development is handing out parcels to those who have lost their belongings and community development is providing shelter, while the JRA is clearing debris and assessing damage to infrastructure.

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