MIL-OSI Africa: KZN government responds to communities affected by inclement weather

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Source: South Africa News Agency

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has responded to several incidents caused by heavy rains accompanied by strong winds and hailstorms that battered parts of the province, which have resulted in extensive damage to households and infrastructure.

According to reports, six people lost their lives following a tornado which ripped apart homes and infrastructure through uThongathi in the north of Durban on Monday.

The storm has also left extensive damage to schools and power lines, leaving many parts of eThekwini without electricity.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) on Sunday issued a Level 4 alert warning of disruptive rains along the coast of the province, with a high probability of flooding.

In a statement, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government said the  eThekwini Metro has been hardest hit, and dozens of people are being treated for injuries in health care facilities.

“Early reports indicate that several areas within eThekwini Metro have been affected, with some roads flooded, trees fallen, and significant damage to infrastructure such as power lines and roads. The uThongathi area, in the north of Durban, has recorded the most incidents, with several homes severely damaged, roofs blown off, and trees falling on electricity lines causing power outages.

“Other areas around Durban, including Umgababa, Durban Central, and the western parts of the city, also experienced heavy rainfall, leading to flooding of some households and roads. The strong winds also affected communities in the Amajuba District and Umzinyathi District, where houses were damaged by the strong winds in Newcastle, Dannhauser, Nquthu, and surrounding areas,” the provincial government said.

Disaster teams are currently assessing the extent of the damages, while providing immediate relief, including accommodating displaced residents in government buildings.

The provincial government, through the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), has also coordinated the disaster team from affected municipalities to provide temporary shelter to those who may need it.

“Public facilities have been opened as safe havens for the affected communities as the assessment continues. Roads are being cleared using TLBs [tractor loader backerhoe] to ensure that rescue workers are able to attend to the injured,” the provincial government said.

READ | Heavy rain warning for KZN south coast

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube is expected to lead a government delegation to visit the uThongathi area for assessment and provision of disaster relief today. – SAnews.gov.za

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