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Death toll rises to 14 in flash flood that swept away worshipers in Johannesburg

Rescue workers wading through Jukskei River in Johannesburg
Rescue workers search the waters of the Jukskei River in Johannesburg on Sunday.
(Associated Press)
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The death toll from a flash flood that swept away members of a church congregation along the Jukskei River in Johannesburg has risen to 14, officials have confirmed.

Rescue teams Monday resumed search operations for at least three people still missing.

Twelve bodies were recovered Sunday in addition to two bodies recovered Saturday, Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said.

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Members of the congregation were participating in rituals along the river when a flash flood swept away several of the worshipers. The riverside services were being conducted near the populous Alexandra township, in eastern Johannesburg.

The U.N.’s refugee agency says destruction from flooding has displaced more than 3.4 million people in west and central Africa.

Some of the bodies were found far downstream on the Jukskei, one of Johannesburg’s largest rivers.

Rescue operations were delayed Monday because of heavy rain.

On Monday, the South African Weather Services warned of continued heavy rainfall that may lead to more flooding in large parts of Gauteng province this week. Communities living along the banks of the Jukskei River have been warned to exercise caution.


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