Suspected Zimbabweans drown while crossing the Limpopo – 06 January 2017 – FOUR people have been swept away and drowned – Zimsinsa
06 January 2017 – FOUR people have been swept away and drowned while crossing the Limpopo river, which is commonly used as a crossing point into SA from neighbouring Zimbabwe and Botswana, to Vhembe, prompting the Limpopo Department of Health to issuing out a health and drowning warning.
“On Wednesday(this week) evening it was reported that four adults were swept away by the river while crossing to Vhembe and to date, two have drowned and their bodies have been retrieved,”says department spokesperson Derick Kganyago, today (today) Friday.
Efforts to establish the nationality of those who drowned were unsuccessful at the time of going to press but it is widely believed that the people who drowned are Zimbabweans, on their way back to SA.
Adding that increased rainfall over the past week had seen river levels rise, leading to strong flowing currents.
“Meanwhile, the search continues for the remaining two. There are reports of people having been swept away by heavy currents of the river in various parts of the province and our teams are working tirelessly to bring them to safety,” he adds.
He also says the the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rescue personnel, the South African Police Service and military to assist with search and rescue operations over the past week as several incidents had been reported.
“The Limpopo River is also crocodile infested, further posing a risk to the lives of those illegally using the river to cross into the province,” he says.
Kganyago also says that the department was also concerned about the public health impact that was posed by the illegal crossing of the river.
“At this time of the year, the risk of infection from cholera and typhoid and other waterborne diseases is high,” he says.
The Department warned the public not to drink water and further urged residents who experienced symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains or cramps to visit their nearest health clinic. – ANA