Three women have been rescued in Mthubatuba, Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, after the Mfolozi River burst its banks as inclement weather continues to batter parts of the province.
As a result, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka dispatched a disaster management team as the burst river banks have become a threat to residents in the surrounding settlements.
The three women were farming when they were cut off by rising water.
“A speedy response by rescue teams ensured that the women were brought back to safety by boat,” said Hlomuka.
He urged residents living along the banks of the river to seek higher ground as water levels were expected to increase further.
“We are in contact with our teams on the ground and we urge residents living next to the river to seek shelter on higher ground. Our teams are on high alert in this area and will intervene timeously should the need arise.”
The province is bracing itself for more bad weather following a week in which two tornadoes hit different parts of the province, leaving several people destitute as the provincial government scrambled to provide relief for affected parties.
Since October, KwaZulu-Natal has experienced extreme weather conditions, including severe thunderstorms, lightning strikes, gale-force winds and heavy downpours that have wreaked havoc across the province.
The provincial government said it expected damage to homes and infrastructure to run into the millions following Tuesday’s tornado which ripped through New Hanover, Pietermaritzburg.
In the meantime, public facilities such as churches and community halls are being used as temporary shelters for those displaced by the storm.