City of Tshwane renders assistance to victims of severe thunderstorm

Pic: Courtesy: CoGTA

The severe thunderstorm that occurred on Tuesday, caused significant damage to at least 31 houses in Refentse – formerly Stinkwater and New Eersterust.

The City’s Emergency Services Department has assessed the damage and, along with the City’s Community and Social Development Services Department, has identified a community center to temporarily accommodate the affected households.

Mr Ald Karen Meyer, MMC for Community Safety and Emergency Services said he has requested Emergency Services to monitor the situation and provide him with regular feedback.

“I wish to express my heartfelt sympathies to the affected families in these difficult times and, hope that the damages may be speedily repaired where possible or that working with the City, suitable alternative accommodation is found.

“As we enter the rainy season, severe thunderstorms and the risk of flooding is a reality across many parts of the City, and residents are urged to take the necessary precautions where possible to avoid being caught up in dangerous situations.

“This includes staying indoors and off roads where possible and avoiding crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level and switch off electricity at the supply point to the building,” he said.

The MMC said those in rural areas should protect or relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground, abandon homes immediately if evacuation is recommended before access is cut off by floodwater.

“Never drive on a road that is totally covered by water and no road surface can be seen, you do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground,” he said.

Residents are urged to be cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers and to listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from emergency personnel and disaster management officers.