Durban gets high-tech disaster centre

2011-04-01 14:13
Durban - A high-tech facility officially opened in Durban on Friday will help the city respond quickly to disasters, KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube said.

“It will be used as a rapid response centre to ensure that we provide necessary protection to all our communities, and do so much more swiftly,” Dube said during the official opening.

Many people living in informal settlements died in floods, storms and fires simply because rescue teams had not immediately been able to identify the exact location of incidents in time for them to provide safety.

“But now, this centre consists of state-of-the-art equipment, including a CCTV camera monitoring system that should enable close monitoring of all the areas,” she said.

The equipment would ensure that teams were dispatched immediately to rescue people before it was too late.

The rapidly increasing disaster incidents in KwaZulu-Natal had prompted the provincial government to augment its support to the disaster management centres located in the 10 district municipalities.

“It will be remembered that more than 100 people have recently lost their lives as a result of disasters in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, with eThekwini’s death toll having numbered well over 70,” she said.

The centre was used during the World Cup and was recently upgraded with additional provincial funding and international expertise.

The centre would work closely with the provincial disaster management centre and the Weather Bureau.

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