More than 70 children of the over 500 who went missing on beaches of Cape Town, South Africa, on New Year’s Day still remain unclaimed, a city official said Friday, according to media reports. On Thursday, hundreds of children were separated from their parents on beaches as thousands of people gathered for celebrations.
Over 30,000 people were reportedly present on the beaches of Monwabisi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, and Strand, and more than 1,000 police officers were on duty on Thursday. Officials reportedly said that they managed to reunite more than 400 children -- mostly below the age of seven -- with their families. Some of the children, who went missing, were as young as three, local media reports said.
“Police will have to try to figure out where those parents are. In Strand alone we handed over 35 children to the police. This is a result of parents who are not paying attention to the whereabouts of their children,” an official reportedly said.
The unclaimed children were taken to the city’s police stations, where they had to spend the night, The Los Angeles Times reported. Authorities are reportedly making efforts to get details about the families of these children.