KZN rains claim more lives

2012-12-11 16:19
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Train plunges into KZN river

A goods train plunged into the Amanzimtoti River near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. See the pictures.

Durban - Eleven people have died as a result of heavy rains in Durban, eThekwini metro police said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Eugene Msomi said some shacks collapsed and others were swept away on Monday night in Chatsworth's Bayview informal settlement, Welbedacht, and Claremont.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Tuesday six children and an adult were missing after being trapped on an island in the Umzinto River, near Durban.

On Monday evening, the NSRI's Durban sea rescue crew were asked to help after heavy rain in the area swelled rivers, spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement.

"Due to excessive flood torrents on the river these seven people could not be reached..."

He said police search and rescue crews resumed the search on Tuesday morning.

Three other people were rescued from the iFafa Club Marina Resort, south of Umzinto.

Police helped three more people to safety in KwaMashu, Durban, Lambinon said.

Another nine homeless people were rescued from the flooded Umbilo River in Durban on Tuesday morning.

They were sleeping under the M4 bridge when the water level rose and trapped them, Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

One person was rescued using ropes across the river and the rest were hoisted up with a rope lowered from the bridge.

Meanwhile four people were injured when a goods train plunged into the Amanzimtoti River near Durban on Tuesday.

"The raging river had eroded the sand from under the train tracks, causing the train to plunge several meters into the torrent waters," said Botha.

On Monday the homes of more than 300 residents in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, were damaged by large hail stones.

"It has been raining hard for the past hour. The plastic sheeting we provided to affected residents to seal their roofs has been blown away," said Al-Imdaad Foundation project co-ordinator Abed Karrim.

"The houses are being flooded. People are in a state of shock at the damage the storm is causing."

The storm tore through Ladysmith and surrounding areas such as Acaciavale, Ntombi's Camp and Steadville on Sunday night.

Co-Operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube said KwaZulu-Natal would need millions of rands to help those homesteads hit by hail storms in some parts of the province.

She led a disaster management team who helped those left homeless on Monday. Dube told residents the province was on full alert and ready to act.

Meanwhile, two people died in car accidents in rainy weather in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, Transport MEC Willies Mchunu said.

"It is quite disturbing that before 12:00, two people have been reported dead due to road accidents," he said in a statement.

One person died on the P603 outside Durban and another on the N3 at the Shongweni off-ramp. Numerous people were injured.

"I appeal to motorists to drive carefully in these bad weather conditions to avoid loss of life," Mchunu said.

He also urged motorists to be patient in areas where the weather had affected the roads.

There were mudslides at the Ballito off-ramp from the N2 and on the N2 south at Mount Edgecomb.

Other roads affected by the weather were the N2 south at Park Rynie, the R56 between Richmond and Ixopo, and the P90 Insuze Bridge at Nkandla.

"We urge the communities to assist by reporting the damaged roads so we can help in providing alternate routes," said Mchunu.

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  weather  |  accidents  |  transport
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