Communities continue to evacuate around the Vaal Dam.
Community Evacuations around the Vaal Dam are in full force as the Department of Water and Sanitation continues to urge people to move higher and safe ground.
The Vaal Dam opened 12 floodgates on Sunday morning, 19 February 2023. Due to heavy rain showers, the Vaal and Orange River System is experiencing rising water levels.
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The department says due to the continuing heavy rains in large parts of the country, many rivers overflow, and most dams are full and spilling.
Communities and settlements along the lower areas of the Vaal Dam are urged to evacuate and move to high-lying areas.
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Department spokesperson Wisani Mavasa says they continue to assess and implement measures to mitigate the effects of the water increase. He says floodgates were opened to alleviate pressure after the Vaal Dam exceeded its maximum capacity.
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The department said it was necessary to release water from the Vaal and Bloemhof dam due to the intense rainfall of the past few weeks.
Areas like Evaton and Mkhelele are among the areas that were affected by the opening of the floodgates. Sipho Radebem, the Emfuleni Mayor, says evacuations of residents and livestock started on Sunday after the department sent out a warning, as reported by EYEWITNESS NEWS.
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Some residents spend Sunday nights at schools near the affected areas in Evaton.
Municipal emergency services around the Vaal Dam remain on high alert to help communities with any evacuations where necessary.
Mavasa warns residents to avoid low-lying areas and evacuate to higher ground.