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oa Civil Engineer in South Africa - Lessons learnt from the 1981 Laingsburg Flood

 

Abstract

The flood of 25 January 1981 in the Buffels River, which inundated the town of Laingsburg and caused the loss of 90 lives and damage in excess of R10 million, highlighted the factors which should be taken into account when planning urban areas on flood plains. The damage and high loss of life in Laingsburg resulted from a combination of a number of aggravating circumstances. The flood arose from a typical black south-easter weather situation and it is estimated that this flood is one of the largest recorded in South Africa, taking the size of the catchment area into account.


The paper discusses the size of this extreme flood and relates it to previous recorded floods. The aggravating circumstances which caused the damage and loss of life are detailed. The restoration of the town and the factors which were considered in determining the redevelopment line are discussed. A revision in existing statutory requirements relating to urban development in areas prone to flooding is also recommended.

Die vloed van 25 Januarie 1981 in die Buffelsrivier wat Laingsburg oorstroom het, 90 lewens geëis het en 'n totale skade in die omgewing van R10 miljoen veroorsaak het, het die faktore wat in ag geneem moet word by die beplanning van stedelike gebiede op vloedvlaktes sterk na vore gebring. Die skade en hoë lewensverlies in Laingsburg was veroorsaak deur 'n kombinasie van beswarende omstandighede. Die vloed het sy oorsprong van 'n tipiese swart suid-ooster en as die opvanggebied in berekening gebring word, word dit bepaal dat die vloed een van dle grootstes is wat nog in Suid-Afrika gemeet is.


Die verhandeling bespreek die grootte van hierdie uiterste vloed en vergelyk dit met vorige aangetekende vloede. Die beswarende omstandighede wat dle oorsaak was van lewensverlies en skade word volledig bespreek. Die herstel van die dorp en die faktore wat in berekening gebring word vir die bepaling van die metode van herontwikkeling word bespreek. 'n Hersiening in bestaande statutêre vereistes wat verband hou met stedelike ontwikkeling in gebiede wat geneig is tot oorstroming word ook aanbeveel.

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/content/civeng1/24/1/EJC24858
1982-01-01
2016-12-07
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