A dormant mine dam burst in central South Africa on Sunday, killing at least one and injuring some 40 others.
The diamond mine dam was in Jagersfontein, a town which lies some 110 kilometers (68 miles) southwest of Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province.
The flooding swept away houses and cars, as it made its way to a residential area, resulting in the collapse of some houses. The provincial department of social development assisted with the evacuation of scores of residents.
Some members of the community were forced to “escape with only the clothes on their backs,” the department was quoted.
The incident also resulted in a power cut in Jagersfontein, as the substation powering it was submerged in mud. Officials said they were working to restore power at the earliest, yet stressing that it was not possible to provide a clear timeframe for when it could be restored.
Those injured included one pregnant woman, as well as four whose limbs were fractured.
The search and rescue efforts remained ongoing, according to a statement by the government. The office of the Free State Premier said a report detailing the circumstances surrounding the incident was being prepared.
The mine was once owned by global diamond mining giant De Beers. The company sold it to Superkolong Consortium in 2010. At the time, De Beers said the mine sourced some of the largest gems in the world during the century it operated — from 1870 to 1971.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released last July that over 6,000 abandoned mines exist in South Africa, posing a threat to the communities around them.