INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, an estimated 120 people have been reported missing in floods that have swept through large areas of south western Cape Province.
GV Gushing water PULL BACK TO SV floodwaters on field.
GV People standing on bridge watching as roadway over the bridge is swept away by waters. (2 SHOTS)
GV Brush and parts of trees swept along and under damaged bridge.
AV People sifting through brush.
GV & SV Civilians and soldiers searching for bodies, and carrying corpses to waiting helicopter. (3 SHOTS)
AV Swollen river and village and farmland covered in flood waters.
GVs Damaged cars and wrecked buildings in flooded streets PAN TO people carrying belongings away from damaged building.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, an estimated 120 people have been reported missing in floods that have swept through large areas of south western Cape Province. The township of Lainsgburg, on the edge of the Karoo Desert, was cut off when the Buffels River burst its banks. Houses, schools and other building were damaged in the floods which followed torrential rain.
SYNOPSIS: Among those presumed drowned were two policemen, who were swept away with their wives and three children. First reports from the area said the policemen were drowned as they tried to rescue passengers from a bus being carried along in the swirling waters.
There were reports that gales of up to 100 kilometres an hour (60 mph) had whipped through the south western Cape, uprooting trees and tearing the roofs off houses. Road and rail links with the area were blocked, and the main the area were blocked, and the main railway line between Johannesburg and Cape Town was reported to be washed away in at least 11 places. Police rescue teams, soldiers and civilians were carrying away bodies, and searching for more. A police spokesman said thick mud was hampering operations. Medical and food supplies were being flown to the area.
The floods were said to be the worst in memory, and have caused millions of Rand (dollars) worth of damage. Many areas reported more than 150 millimetres (six inches) of rain in less than 24 hours. Towns in several parts of the country were without electricity after power lines were brought down. In many sectors of the Karoo region, the rains were the first for more than two years, breaking a severe drought.