Deadly floods hit South Africa

Days of heavy rain have left parts of South Africa under water. The flooding has been at its worst across northeastern parts of the country where one person is feared dead.

The seasonal showers have been particularly heavy during the past week. Many parts getting daily rainfall totals of around 50 to 70mm of rain.

Located to the east of Johannesburg, Witbank and Lydenburg had 60mm and 65mm of rainfall respectively in just 24 hours at the start of the week. The subsequent floods left the main highway into Johannesburg impassable after the Mbembesi River burst its banks.

The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) warned that two dams in Matabeleland South and Silalatshani are currently full to bursting. In the event 12 people had to be rescued by a helicopter that was dispatched from Bulawayo by the CPU after they found themselves cut off and in danger of being swept away. Gold panning has been put on hold around Gwanda District where some roads and bridges have been badly damaged.

The waters remain high across of number of areas in the region and people are being warned to be vigilant. Residents are advised to be on high alert.