Residents in low-lying areas are still being evacuated by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance. It is unclear how many people are still missing after heavy rains washed away cars and people crossing low-lying bridges.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has indicated that the heavy rains will continue along the coastal parts of KwaZulu Natal including the eThekwini Metro and the Ugu and iLembe districts in the coming days.
Disaster management teams and emergency services continue to work around the clock to rescue affected communities.
eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda says several power stations have also been affected leaving many communities without water and electricity. Kaunda says they cannot quantify the extent of the damage yet.
“Most of the City’s power stations have been flooded and our teams were unable to assess them last night but our teams started working on these facilities in the early hours of this morning. We would like to urge our communities to bear with us while we are working to restore the electricity supply to all residential areas and businesses there are certain water treatment plants and water mains that have been damaged including those that belong to uMngeni Water our teams are on the ground to try and return the situation to normal.”
Umgeni Water’s Shami Harichunder is appealing to residents to use water sparingly as some water treatment plants suffered infrastructure damage. Teams are on the ground trying to restore supply to affected communities.
Floods claimed 45 lives
The province has confirmed that at least 45 people have lost their lives in the heavy rains and floods. The government has placed local and national disaster teams on stand-by.
The video below is reporting on the floods death toll:
Four people rescued
Four people have been rescued from a rooftop in Durban. “Medi Response Search and Rescue crews, in collaboration with Black Eagle Aviation, undertook the aerial search and rescue mission to locate and extract four persons from an area in Durban south,” said Medi Response spokesperson Herbst Paul.
“Rescue personnel located the family using a helicopter and lower rescue crews onto the building roof. Four persons were lifted from the area and removed to safety. The location otherwise is inaccessible by road or foot,” added Paul.
Disaster Management teams have been responding to various incidents across the province.
A spokesperson for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KZN Senzelwe Mzila says, “A number of interventions are being rolled out by the provincial government which is spearheaded by the Premier of the Province Sihle Zikalala. This includes the roping of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in order to provide area support to evacuate people who are trapped in areas.”
Humanitarian organisation, the Gift of the Givers Foundation says it will be on the ground assisting those affected by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal.
The founder of the foundation Imtiaz Sooliman says, “Persons whose homes are affected basically can’t cook so they need meals for a few days whilst they are waiting for their house to be sorted out. Many of them need clothes and blankets because it’s winter now and they need sanitary pads and diapers for the kids. And as we scale up a little further it depends if we will be providing corrugated sheetings for people to rebuild their homes if it’s informal settlements but we always tell the government that people are given houses and it’s time we use this as an opportunity to give people houses, obviously it can’t be done overnight but it will be looked into.”
More rainfall expected to cause havoc in KZN