Floods in Newcastle – Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 22 February 2017

Floods in Newcastle
In response to the current flooding disaster currently taking place in Newcastle and surrounding areas, the Municipal Manager; Mr B.E Mswane articulated that the Disaster Management team has been on the ground to assist the community during these times. “Our traffic and disaster management team were immediately on the ground. Last night the Mayor, myself as the Municipal Manager together with the ward 3 Councillor Shunmugam visited the areas of Paradise and Lennoxton where some families experienced severe flooding into their homes. We have contacted the office of the MEC to assist in the relief of the disaster, in response the MEC has deployed a team which this morning, the 22 February 2017, met together with the District and Newcastle, the team has proceeded to conduct an assessment to the damage done and solutions will be communicated shortly”, said Mswane.

Furthermore, The Ncandu, Ingagane and Buffalo Rivers were closed since they had picked up. Areas affected mostly in Newcastle is Lennoxton, Paradise and Siyahlala Informal Settlement, D96 as well as Madadeni Section 3 and Osizweni where two houses were completely destroyed.

The displaced communities that were evacuated in Newcastle are accommodated at the Fairleigh Community Hall. Madadeni displaced community that were evacuated are housed at the Madadeni Community Hall and the people from Blaauwbosch will be accommodated at Osizweni Community Hall as well as Mzamo High School.

A soup kitchen was activated this morning. A local special Joints Operations Committee meeting with officials from the COGTA was arranged for today at 09h00 in the Protection Services Lecture Room. Fortunately no fatalities and injuries have been reported thus far. Our Disaster Management Teams are out doing assessment and evacuation at this stage. Relief materials distributed to the affected communities are sandbags, mattrasses, blankets, tents and plastic sheets.
As of today approximately twenty one (21) houses have collapsed in Bosworth Farm, assessment and distribution of relief is ongoing at this stage.

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STATE OF THE ROADS
The Newcastle Taxi and Bus Rank has been completely closed off. Top of Kirkland Street is currently used as a temporary taxi rank. The entire Murchison Street is currently used as a temporary bus rank.

Most of the town intersections are closed off and all our traffic officials are effectively manning all the intersections. Currently, a high congestion of traffic is noted on all our roads.

Moreover, massive potholes are reported on the provincial road P483 as well as the Albert Wessels Drive. Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) has been requested to assist with traffic control on the P483.

Department of Transport (Roads) has been requested to fill in potholes and they have confirmed that their teams are sent out to fill in the potholes on the P483.

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For further information, kindly contact Divisional Commander : Fire Safety and Disaster Management, Mr MN Mpeko on 0724218939 or 061 424 6464.