The community of eDanganya in uMgababa, south of Durban, has been left with many unanswered questions, after a church in the area miraculously survived the floods.
Videos that have gone viral show the structure simply moved downhill intact whilst all houses around it were washed away.
The whole area has suffered widespread destruction by the floods that have claimed the lives of 448 people in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The community of uMgababa and surrounding areas continue to visit the area of eDanganya to witness what they call ‘a miracle’.
The church structure shifted from its original site about 20 metres downhill without a crack on the wall. This happened at the time when the floods that ravaged the province destroyed hundreds of houses.
Electric cables including those that supply the church also shifted, and moved from the original point. What puzzles many in the communities in the area is that houses and graves here were misplaced.
Over 25 homes were affected in the area.
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Climate expert from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi says such movements are a result of landslides caused by the disturbances of natural slopes. He explains that they occur during heavy rains and drought seasons.
“Landslides are basically caused by the disturbances on natural slopes and these disturbances usually occurred during heavy rainfall and during drought periods. What we see there is that some people disturb these slopes and land degradation and environmental degradation that is happening.”
“People construct on these steep slopes and lack proper retaining walls when constructing. There are various ways of mitigating slopes which are very structural such erecting proper retaining walls and proper design and construction,” added Mabhaudhi.
Meanwhile, flood victims, like Thokozile Mkhwanazi and Zethu Ndlovu, are amongst many in this area that are being accommodated at the nearby temporary shelter. They say the entire area of eDanganya is without water and electricity.
Government and NGOs together with rescue teams continue to offer relief to flood victims across the province.