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Joburg flooding claims at least 3 lives, including 8-year-old

Two people, including an 8-year-old girl, have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of heavy rains and flooding in Gauteng, while a woman swept away by floods is reportedly presumed dead. 

On Saturday, the body of an 8-year-old was found after flash floods hit Johannesburg following heavy rains, News24 reported.

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

The mother of 8-year-old Lindiwe Golelmin told SABC News that her older daughter, who witnessed the incident, is still extremely traumatised. Lindiwe died while crossing a stream near her home in Mhlangeni informal settlement in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg on Friday.

Her body was found on Saturday following a search by Emergency Medical Services. Her mother, Maria Golelmin, reportedly said her child was trying to cross a makeshift wooden bridge with her elder sister.

READ | Helen Joseph Hospital floods due to heavy rains

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.

SABC News reported that a man from Douglasdale, who is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old, also died on Saturday.

Gauteng Disaster Management spokesperson Elias Sithole told SABC News that a woman was also swept away by the floods and is presumed dead.

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 had 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.

– Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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