INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, scores of people are feared drowned in floods in the country's Eastern Cape Province.
AERIAL VIEW Buildings in flood water (3 shots)
LV Two rescue helicopters hovering over houses in flood water
LV Winch lowering harness
CU Helicopter pilot
CU Woman with hair curlers winched into helicopter
LV & CU Winch lowering harness to isolated family, child winched aboard (3 shots)
LV & CU Hovering helicopter winches another woman aboard (2 shots)
CU Two women in helicopter
LV & CU More women winched aboard other helicopters (3 shots)
SV Shot from helicopter landing in rescue area
CU Woman climbs out of helicopter onto dry land
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, scores of people are feared drowned in floods in the country's Eastern Cape Province. The city of Port Elizabeth has been worst hit with nearly 43 centimetre (nearly 17 inches) of rain recorded there in 24 hours on Thursday (26 March).
SYNOPSIS: The Indian Ocean city of Port Elizabeth was virtually isolated by the floodwaters. Civil defence officials said the situation was chaotic. Gale force winds prevented Air Force helicopters from taking off on a rescue mission until Friday (27 March).
Winds in the ravaged area reached a speed of 135 kilometres per hour (85 miles per hour) and two young boys were killed when a tornado ripped through the little Eastern Cape town of Witkop. Once the winds had died down helicopters winched hundreds of people to safety from rooftops and areas of high ground.
At least twenty people are known to have died, but official sources said the final count could turn out to the much higher. The coloured community in the areas was worst hit as the Gamtoos river burst its banks and swept through a whole settlement on an island midstream. Police were unable to say how many people lived in the community.
The black townships were also hard hit as waters swept 3 metres (10 feet) deep through the main streets. Scores of people are still unaccounted for. In white suburbs householders broke down their garden walls to release water from overflowing swimming pools. For those seeking care at the city hospital the situation was no better......the entire building was flooded and patients had to sit ankle deep in water a they waited for treatment.