Clean up in the aftermath of KZN floods

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The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) says mop up operations have started following two days of heavy rains.

The disaster management and technical teams across KwaZulu-Natal province have commenced with cleaning up and fixing technical faults after the heavy down pours on Thursday and Friday while two people are in hospital and another is reported missing.

Over 20 people at Cato Manor in Mayville, Durban were displaced following damage to their informal homes. In Umsinga, a house collapsed injuring two people. Both are recovering in hospital.

COGTA provincial spokesperson for KwaZulu Natal, Nonala Ndlovu, says they were able to curb greater destruction and loss due to prior safety measures.
“The swift action in communicating the imminent risk prevented a more significant negative impact of the situation. The department of COGTA KZN wishes to acknowledge the work put in by all teams in ensuring that the residents of the province remain safe.”

Community reeling as body of 8-year-old still not found

Search operations are continuing for an 8-year-old girl who was swept away by the Umsunduzi River on Thursday following heavy rains.
Residents of Peaceville in Pietermaritzburg say their lives are at risk because the area is prone to flooding. They have committed themselves to continue searching for the body of the young girl.

It is believed that a mother and her two children were trying to cross a low-lying bridge when the child was washed away. In November last year, some houses in the area were submerged in water after the Umsunduzi River burst its banks.

Resident, Nhlakanipho Makhathini, explains that this is not the first time such an incident has occurred, but that it is a regular occurrence following heavy rains.

“Every time these heavy rains pour they face the same problem of they cannot go over the bridge saying that this is not the first time that such an incident is happening. The same incident happened last year, children died. They were swept away. Again this year an incident is happening. They are not even able to get assistance because any assistance that may come will not be able to cross this river. So they are appealing to authorities to remember them,” said Makhathini.

Relief from rains predicted by weather forecasts

Following two days of persistent and heavy rains, weather forecaster at the South African Weather Services, Odirile Modipa, says sunny days are set to return to KwaZulu-Natal next week.
“Going forward, we are looking at a clearing in the weather. We only have a 30% chance of showers and thundershowers for today [Saturday]clearing from the east tomorrow [Sunday], and we only have 30% chance of showers and thundershowers in the western parts of KZN. We are expecting these conditions to last for the rest of the week. In the next 7 days, it’s general good weather onwards,” Modipa reports.

The positive weather outlook going into the new week will no doubt leave KwaZulu-Natal residents breathing a sigh of relief. Last year’s floods in April claimed the lives of over 400 people and displaced thousands of others.