Mud houses deadly hazard as rain and flooding claim first victims

2011-01-06 00:00

THE heavy rains and flooding have wreaked havoc in KwaZulu-Natal and six people, including two young girls, have died in the province since New Year’s Eve.

Authorities had previously reported no fatalities from the floods, but yesterday news came in that the victims were killed between December 31 and Tuesday.

Fatalities from flooding and the continuous rains were reported in Ladysmith and Durban.

Chris Botha of Netcare911 said two girls aged four and six drowned in the Gola-Gola River in Folweni south of Durban yesterday.

He said the body of the four-year-old victim was still missing yesterday evening.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said a motorist, Nkosinathi Sigula (35), drowned after his car was swept away while crossing Ndakane River in Zakheni near Ladysmith on December 31.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube said a 20-year-old man, Mlungisi Mbatha, died in bed when his mud house collapsed in the rural Roosboom area of Ladysmith on New Year’s Eve.

Two other men were washed away by a river in Driefontein yeston Tuesday.

“One body was discovered today while another body is still missing,” said Dube.

Another woman survived “by luck” after her mud house collpased on top of her.

“At this stage it is still early to declare Ladysmith a disaster area. The disaster management team is still dealing with the situation”said Dube.

“Upon meeting with families we will hear where government can assist families who have lost loved ones.”

Dube’s spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, announced that a large number of families living on river banks will be relocated in an attempt to avoid more fatalities.

“We will move the people and demolish the houses, ensuring that nobody lives there,” said Mabaso.

He said the areas will be policed to ensure that no houses are built on river banks again.

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