Three high school pupils in South Africa’s northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are reported to have drowned while trying to cross a river in the town of Umlalazi.
The provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said that the drowning was caused by heavy rains and the flooding of the river the pupils tried crossing.
A leader of the province, Nomusa Dube-Ncube is reported by News24 as saying that “The heavy rain has already claimed the lives of three teenagers who drowned while trying to cross the Matimofu River from Ndlongolwane school in uMlalazi.”
“This is a tragedy, the likes of which we must all strive to prevent by heeding weather warnings,” Dube-Ncube added.
The pupils, Nontethelelo Mcanyana, 18, Sinikiwe Mpanza, 17, and Zenande Gumede, 14, were coming from Ndlongolwane High School when the tragic incident took place, according to the department.
The department is now warning residents of the province to be careful during the rains and heed weather warnings.
“In light of this tragedy, we are urging residents of the affected regions to stay away from all rivers and streams in their vicinity where localised flooding could occur.
“We are also warning motorists to drive carefully and avoid low-lying bridges in areas that are susceptible to flooding,” Dube-Ncube was quoted as saying.