Hundreds evacuated in Port St Johns as heavy rains intensify

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Hundreds of residents, mostly women and children, have been evacuated from the heavily flooded Green Farm in Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape on Monday.

Flash floods affected the low lying areas as the major Mzimvubu River burst its banks – and more rain is expected.

The O.R Tambo Disaster Management team and government officials are working to evacuate those trapped.

Port St Johns Municipality speaker, Ayanda Gantsho says they have decided to evacuate the villagers to the town hall and churches.

“We want to put them in the hall in the meantime. One thing we need the most is mattresses, food, blankets, heaters because it is very cold. And we have asked business people to assist us . We really need to be assisted with such things.”

Flood victims say their goods have been damaged as their homes are swamped in water. Khunjulwa Mlata, who lives in Green Farm, says she lost all her belongings.

“I discovered when I go out again that the room was full of water. All the belongings inside were just swept away. I took the kids outside to the municipality vehicle that was standing outside already. We just decided to take the kids.”

Business owner Nawaazli Abdullah has put in a hand to assist through the crisis. He says, “We heard there were people who need help and we prepared warm food and we are trying to assist where we can.”

The number of people seeking refuge is expected to rise.

As the rain continues to intensify, residents continue to leave their homes to seek refuge.  A call has been made to good Samaritans and local businesses to lend a hand to donate warm items to the flood victims.