KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the torrential rain storm that lashed the province has resulted in widespread damage and destruction.
Zikalala was giving an update after the province experienced more rains on Saturday following last month’s devastating floods, which claimed over 440 lives.
Zikalala said the province yet again underwent some of the worst storms that have been accompanied by floods resulting in destruction that comes with such situations.
“We are yet to receive a full comprehensive report on the impact of these latest heavy rains, but as reports come in a worrying picture is however emerging. The South African Weather Services (SAWS) predicts that the storm will be moving up the coast thus affecting the district of King Cetshwayo and Mkhanyakude.”
According to the weather service, the rains have affected mostly the coastal areas with those around eThekwini mostly impacted.
Zikalala said there have been a number of evacuations.
“There are approximately two hundred and fifty people that are evacuated in Tongaat and Tehuise care centres. Currently 82 care centres with 3,186 people counted around the city can used to accommodate people. So far, 40 people St Catherine, Waterways in Tongaat 44 units, Plain Street, retirement village in Tongaat were evacuated.”
“The Westbrook retirement village was evacuated. A total of 190 people have been evacuated and the fire brigade unit has assisted with pumping the water the hall. The Ilembe district was hugely affected with a number of households being left homeless and the road network infrastructure being affected,” Zikalala said.
In King Cetshwayo severe damage was also reported to the Ngobese house which fell due to heavy rains and wind.
A family of 9 members living in a one room house has been moved following damage to their house.
“We can assure the people of KwaZulu-Natal of the preparedness of all our disaster teams in all districts including being alert to all the areas that are prone to flooding,” Zikalala said.
Zikalala said relief interventions are on-going to ensure that all community halls with displaced people are receiving adequate relief assistance, social support services and medical assistance.
“In the event flood prone areas need to evacuate people due to rising water levels, the open halls will be able to accommodate them. So far, Social Partners such as Red Cross, Al-Imdaad Foundation and many others have been activated to support municipalities with humanitarian Aid and hot meals.”
Zikalala said the KZN Provincial Government have instructed every municipality to identify and allocate community halls to be used as homeless sheltering.
“Sector Departments and other stakeholders (NGOs) have been advised to activate their respective contingency plans to ensure that the damaged public infrastructure is repaired immediately.”
Zikalala said so far, the greatest impact is expected along the coastal and north-eastern parts of the KZN.
“Water levels are being closely monitored in various areas that are prone to flooding so that appropriate measures will be effected. As the number of calls at the control centre has increased, the department has appealed to the SANDF to be deployed to the Northern parts of Durban for urgent response.”
Zikalala said a number of roads and bridges in Ethekwini, especially uMdloti, La Mercy and others have been affected and have urge road users to be on the alert and to stay at home if possible.