- A body was recovered and 40 others were hospitalized after a sheet pile collapsed in Jagersfontein.
- The dam belongs to a mining company.
- Electricity supply went out and local cell towers were damaged.
Water flow has stopped after the tailings dam of an abandoned mine in Jagersfontein collapsed and the immediate threat is stabilizing, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said Sunday afternoon.
“The untold damage in and around the Charlesville community of Jagersfontein is immense and negatively impacting the community,” she said in a statement. “Some people have been displaced, others have lost property, while others are reported injured and missing.”
The National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) coordinated with the Provincial Disaster Management Center and other stakeholders to ensure needed assistance was provided where needed, Dlamini-Zuma said.
“The NDMC has deployed personnel to the affected area to assess damage and impact and provide immediate operational support.”
She urged the deployed teams to “do whatever it takes to mitigate the negative impact of this incident on communities”.
“Multidisciplinary teams comprising the South African police, emergency medical services, health, disaster management, social development, search and rescue personnel and mine engineers responded immediately and are on the scene, providing search, rescue, immediate relief and stabilization operations to the hallway.
“The injured have received emergency medical care at the scene and are being transported to local hospitals. Assessments are underway to identify and account for all residents of the affected area.”
The prime minister’s office previously stated that three bodies had been recovered. It has since corrected this, with only one victim dying.
Free State Prime Minister Sisi Ntombela, expected in the mining town later on Sunday, said 35 people had been taken to the local Diamant hospital. Among the injured was a pregnant woman, and four people suffered broken limbs.
Five others have been transferred to Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg.
Homes and vehicles were swept away when the dam collapsed.
The dam, owned by a mining company, burst from its walls on Sunday morning. (Delivered, gift from the givers)
“The Prime Minister, through her provincial government, activated the disaster response teams and the Joint Operation Center this morning to determine the extent of the disaster,” said Palesa Chubisi, spokesman for Ntombela.
“Officials of the [Emergency Medical Services] College have also been deployed to help.”
Eskom reported that it had lost its bulk supply to Centlec, the electricity distributor responsible for Jagersfontein, while four Eskom customers on the Fauresmith-Spitskop feeder, three customers on the Pompie-Rietkuil feeder and the Jagersfontein mine were without power. .
Humanitarian organizations assessed how many people were affected and what help they needed. (Delivered, gift from the givers)
“Eskom Reedkuil substation was also inundated by the mud, resulting in a total loss of bulk supply to Centlec. Due to the current situation in the Jagersfontein area and the inaccessibility of our substation, it is impossible to estimate when the delivery will be repaired or determine the extent of the damage,” Eskom said in a statement.
“Because Eskom’s telecommunications system was also affected by the flooding, the impact on surrounding networks is still unclear.”
It urged residents to treat all electrical lines, outlets and appliances as alive and dangerous.
District social development agencies evacuated people in the affected areas to nearby farms, while humanitarian organizations checked how many people were affected.
Gift from the donors Imtiaz Sooliman said the area around Charlesville appears to have been most affected by the silt.
A local church has opened its doors after houses were badly damaged. (Delivered, gift from the givers)
“Houses, personal belongings and many sheep have been washed away and members of the community are missing. Cell phone towers have been damaged, communication has been compromised, there is no electricity and not a drop of potable water. Some roads are closed,” Sooliman said.
A local church opened its doors to those affected to provide shelter and shelter.
“Immediate requirements include bottled water, bulk food for cooking, blankets, mattresses, clothing, hygiene items, sanitary towels and diapers. Sheep feed will also be required.”
Houses and vehicles were swept away after the disaster. (Delivered, gift from the givers)
The humanitarian organization’s teams were packing supplies in Bethlehem, Graaff-Reinet, Gqeberha and Cape Town. The first delivery was expected later on Sunday in Jagersfontein.
Arrangements will also be made to provide the sheep with feed.