Teams consisting of emergency medical services, health, disaster management, and search and rescue personnel remain on the ground in Jagersfontein, where a mining dam wall collapsed on Sunday. Three people died in the incident in the Free State mining town.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit the area Monday. Four people are missing; 23 patients were treated for hypothermia, and four for broken legs. A flooded power station has left the town without electricity. Several houses collapsed, and the main road into the town is flooded.
Provincial health department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said mobile clinics were sent to the area to assist in delivering medication. Mvambi said some patient files were destroyed, and some medication was lost at the local clinic. The extent of this is not yet known.
“This has affected everybody, and the department is sending medical packs for help. We are urging everyone not to go through the waters and muddy roads and be on the safe side,” Mvambi said.
What happened at Jagersfontein is really heart breaking 😭 https://t.co/aTC7E02B1L
— Treasure (@Lfoza) September 12, 2022
One resident, Sello Dithebe, said he barely managed to escape the flood waters.
“I was still sleeping when my mother screamed as I rushed to her room. There was a lot of water in our house, and other parts were falling,” he said.
Displaced residents are staying at Boaramelo Combined school. SASSA, the Red Cross and Meals on Wheels are also on the ground assisting.
A first satellite image of the aftermath of the #tailings failure at #Jagersfontein in South Africa. There is a huge plume of grey pollution. It appears that it has entered the main channel to the NE. Image from @planet, captured today. The tailings pond is in the NW corner. pic.twitter.com/qnlW2jKjEU
— Dave Petley (@davepetley) September 11, 2022
Meanwhile, in a statement, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said by Sunday afternoon, the flowing water had stopped, and the immediate threat had stabilised.
“The National Disaster Management Centre is coordinating with the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) and other stakeholders to ensure that assistance needed is provided where required. The NDMC has deployed staff members to the affected area to assess the damage and impact and to provide direct operational support,” the statement read. – Health-e News