Families of KZN flood victims urged to come identify loved ones at mortuaries

Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo
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The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department says the process of conducting postmortems is under way after more than 60 were killed in the catastrophic flooding that hit the province, following heavy rains.

It has urged relatives of the flood victims to go to government mortuaries to identify the bodies.

Authorities fear that the death toll may rise as disaster management teams continue their mop-up operations. 55 bodies are being kept at the Pinetown and the Magwaza Maphalala mortuaries.

“At Pinetown mortuary, we have now 40 bodies. Fortunately, some of the relatives have come in to identify 34 of those bodies and we have managed to do 6 postmortems today. At the Magwaza Maphalala, we have 15 bodies. Only two of those have been identified positively by relatives and friends. The other five, I’m not been able to say which mortuary they’ve gone to. If anybody have not seen their relative, friend or a member of the family please can they come and assist us at two of these mortuaries,” says  Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has given the assurance that government will make funds available for those in need following floods in KwaZulu-Natal.

He was speaking after visiting many areas that have been affected by floods, including include Amanzimtoti, Malvern, Chatsworth and Umlazi.

“Government at all levels is giving as much assistance as they possibly can, particularly for those that are displaced. There are more than 1 000 people displaced … these are emergency situations that we budget for. So, resources will be mobilised in the biggest way, so, our people that are currently in need are assisted. It will take time, but the SA government, at all its levels, will be there to give assistance to our people.”