KZN assessing flood damages

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Disaster management teams in KwaZulu-Natal are still assessing the extent of the damage caused by heavy downpours in some parts of the province.

Areas under the eThekwini Metro, Ilembe and Howick in the province’s midlands, were the hardest hit. Roads and other critical infrastructure have been affected. The South African Weather Service issued a level 5 severe weather warning earlier this week.

Persistent heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in parts of KwaZulu-Natal. Some roads have been damaged extensively while others have been blockaded by fallen trees and other debris.

Marie-Ann Kerdachi has been a resident in uMhlanga for over fourteen years. She says residents in the area are traumatized by the impact of the heavy rains.

“They are very worried because we don’t know how bad or how terrible it’s going to be so that is a very big worry and the costs and what is the costs involved in this.”

Provincial authorities say disaster teams have been dispatched to all affected areas. It’s in talks with national government to declare the province a disaster area.

“Our teams are still assessing damages in various areas that will be able to give us an exact report of how much damage that were caused by the recent heavy rain. There were also a number of schools the Department of Education is attending to; our disaster teams will continue to monitor the situation on the ground. There are more rains that are still expected in the province through the month of January so as a result we have decided to activate a joint operation cluster where we work together with law enforcement agencies and emergency services and social partners to speed up the response into the disasters,” says KZN CoGTA spokesperson Siboniso Mngadi.

More than fifty people have died due to weather-related incidents since December last year.

Motorists have been urged to exercise extreme caution on the roads. Residents have also been warned to avoid crossing low-lying bridges.