Search resumes for man missing after raging rivers during storm Eloise

26 January 2021 - 08:04 By graeme hosken
Rescue workers enter the Blyde River near Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga, on January 26 2021, where they are searching for the body of a man who was washed away in floods following Cyclone Eloise.
Rescue workers enter the Blyde River near Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga, on January 26 2021, where they are searching for the body of a man who was washed away in floods following Cyclone Eloise.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Rescuers from Rescue SA and the police are to resume searching riverways around Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga, on Tuesday for a man who disappeared in raging flood waters.

The search was called off on Monday after heavy downpours and strong winds from tropical storm Eloise continued to batter the province, as well as Limpopo.

Ian Scher of Rescue SA confirmed that the search would continue with the aid of the police.

The missing man is believed to have been swept away while crossing the Blyde River.

The body of a five-year-old child, who was washed away in nearby Masoyi, was found on Sunday.

Some towns and villages in eastern Mpumalanga were cut off after roads were blocked off by landslides and rivers which burst their banks, and trees which were uprooted.

In Limpopo farmer Rickert Botha said the Nzhelele dam was overflowing the first time since 2014 while the Nwanedi and Luphephe dams are “one hundred percent full”.

“Any more water ... we are going to have problems, major problems. Already the rivers are overflowing. Some are raging. Fields are flooding. It's going to be touch and go for a lot of people downstream from some of these rivers.”

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Rescue teams recovered a body close to Blyde River in Mpumalanga on January 26 2021 after tropical storm Eloise ripped through eastern parts of South Africa.

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