KZN floods claim 31 lives

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The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance says the heavy rains that wreaked havoc in various parts of the province have claimed 31 lives in December. Three people are still missing.

Ladysmith was the hardest hit claiming the lives of 23 people after flash floods washed away many homes and vehicles.

Search and recovery teams are continuing with their operations trying to retrieve the bodies of the three missing flood victims. Amongst those affected is the family of a 15-year-old boy who drowned at Mthunzini beach on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

The family says it is pinning its hopes on the search and recovery teams.

“Since the day of the incident, they have been with us. They have been moving around with the resources that they have. Even yesterday, we were with them trying to see the whole area using the drone. We are just hoping that something positive will come up. We are so much aggrieved. We are not okay, more especially his brothers, and his mother we can’t even sleep at night. We are only praying to find his body, I believe that will bring us the closure we need,” says the teen’s father Sbusiso Ncube.

One of the victims of lost two children and a husband: 

Residents of Mlalazi at Eshowe are trying to rebuild their homes after they were damaged by storms on New Year’s Day. One person died after being struck by lightning and about 38 homes were damaged.

“The roof was blown away by the strong wind. We have lost furniture, school uniform for our children, as well as food. We are calling for anyone to come and assist us as we lost all our belongings,” says one of the victims is Zandile Xulu.

Umlalazi Local Municipality Mayor, Queen Xulu, says they will approach the national government for disaster relief fund to assist the affected families.

“For now, we do have two people who lost their lives and also the damage that was caused by the heavy rains. We do have 38 households that are damaged and we are still collecting the data because we understand that our municipality is very big. So, the reports are still coming.”

Meanwhile the disaster management teams are still on the ground assessing the damage caused by the inclement weather. The South African Weather Services has issued alert level two for thunderstorms and showers in different parts of the province.