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April 25, 2024

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South Africa    South Africa   

South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain. ― Google

President: Cyril Ramaphosa Trending

Capitals: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein

Dialing code: +27

Population: 59.31 million (2020) World Bank

Currency: South African rand

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A mining dam in the Free State Province of South Africa collapsed on 11 September 2022 flooding areas of Jagersfontein and Charlesville.

Damage caused by the collapse of a mining dam in Jagersfontein, South Africa, 11 September 2022. Photo: Free State Provincial Government

A wall of a mining dam, also known as a tailings dam, broke in the early hours causing floods, mud and debris to flow into nearby settlements. Homes were damaged or destroyed and residents force to flee. Authorities said the disaster has left hundreds of people destitute. At least 3 people have lost their lives and 4 are missing, while around 40 people were taken to hospital including 23 with hypothermia and 4 with broken limbs.

Rescue and recovery efforts are underway, involving teams from emergency services and police from surrounding towns.

Provincial authorities evacuated people in the affected areas to nearby farms. Humanitarian Organisations such as Meals on Wheels, South African Red Cross and many more are on the ground providing food and conducting assessments.

The Premier of the Free State Sisi Ntombela visited the affected areas of the diamond mining town of Jagersfontein in the Kopanong Local Municipality on 11 September. “A detailed report on the circumstances surrounding the incident will be released upon compilation,” the Premier said.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will visit the affected area on 12 September 2022.

Mining and Tailings Dam Disasters

The in Free State province experienced a similar disaster in 1994 when the Merriespruit tailings dam collapsed causing considerable damage and the deaths of at least 17 people

More recently tailings dam disasters have caused catastrophic damage in the state of Minas Gerais in 2015 after the Samarco dam failed, and again in January 2019.

Following the Samarco tailings dams collapse in November 2015, over fifty million cubic metres of toxic sludge swept down the valley and into the Rio Doce, through the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo and out to sea at the Rio Doce estuary at Regência in Linhares district. At the time this was described as Brazil’s worst-ever environmental disaster.

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(DG ECHO)
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
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Humanitarian Impact
  40
      Affected Persons
  3
        Deaths

OCHA coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises.

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