Families who lost loved ones in the KZN floods struggle to come to terms with their loss

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Families who lost their loved ones in the floods that battered KwaZulu-Natal are struggling to come to terms with their loss.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance has confirmed that at least 306 people have died in the floods.

In the video below, SABC News’ Nozintombi Miya is at the old airport precinct:

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa assured residents that government would assist them.

Clermont and Ntuzuma locals say their priorities are to bury their loved ones and find safe shelter.

“I tried to run away but the wall fell on me. It took neighbour’s more than two hours before they could rescue me. I then went to check on my children only to find they were trapped. There is nothing they could do. Blocks fell on them. Three people have died in my family. One child who was in a critical condition is recovering.  I lost a 3-year-old child, my niece and my mother,” a resident says.

People from Nhlungwane near Ntuzuma outside Durban were left homeless after their RDP houses were submerged in water from a nearby river. The floods washed away a bridge, completely cutting off communities.

“Our houses are close to the river. We have been promised that the bridge was going to be fixed. This time it overflowed and covered our houses. We are homeless now. We stay in RDP houses. We are not safe in this area, we want to be relocated,” a resident says.

“We lost everything, we don’t have shelter, and the sad thing is that no one has come to check if there are any bodies under the rubble. Some people were injured when their houses collapsed, we also don’t have food,” another resident adds.

In the video below a family in Hammarsdal loses five members in the floods:

eThekwini Municipality closely monitoring the impact

The eThekwini Municipality says it is closely monitoring the impact of the flood damage on the UPL Pollution Control Dam at the Cornubia site in Durban. Contaminated water at the dam has apparently overflowed into the Ohlanga tributary due to the torrential rains.

The water was being controlled from spilling into other rivers by the dam after the UPL warehouse was set alight during the looting and violence last July. Authorities say they are still trying to investigate whether there is a leak in pipes near the dam.

In a statement, the municipality says attempts to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the UPL Pollution Control Dam are being implemented. It says water samples have been taken to establish the levels of pollutants that have overflown into the Ohlanga tributary. T

he public is urged to refrain from entering the Ohlanga as well as the exclusion zone and South of the uMhlanga river mouth. The public is also reminded that the ban on fishing or collection of mussels and oysters from the uThongathi Estuary to Eastmoor Beach Access remains prohibited.

The National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson, Craig Lambinon has called on the public to avoid crossing over swollen rivers or flooded waterways as search and rescue efforts continue following heavy rains that lashed KwaZulu-Natal.

Mop up operations are underway. However, more rains are forecast for this weekend. President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his visit to the province that the military would be roped in to help out. Lambinon urged the public to put safety first.

“Don’t try to drive over bridges that are under floods, stay safe, it is the time now to give the authorities the opportunity to assess and to get a grip. We are obviously appealing to the public to have a safety-conscious mindset. Literally, thousands of people were rescued, in a very short space of time, over 36 hours. There are still search and rescue operations underway,” says Lambinon.

VIDEO: KZN FLOODS – President Ramaphosa offered condolences to families bereaved: