KZN flood death toll rises to 3

2011-01-05 14:44
Durban - Three people were killed due to flooding in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal local government MEC Nomusa Dube said on Wednesday.

"Three people have died since the flooding started. Lots of houses were damaged especially in Driefontein. In one situation the house fell on one woman and she was lucky to survive," Dube told Sapa.

It started raining in the Ladysmith area on December 31 when one person died in Roosboom.

Two other people died while trying to cross a stream in Ladysmith on Tuesday.

"At this stage it is still early to declare Ladysmith a disaster area. The disaster management team is still dealing with the situation," she said.

Over 800 houses affected

Over 800 houses across KwaZulu-Natal had been affected by the floods.

"The current persisting rain has affected at least 829 households all over the province during the past three days," Dube said.

In Ladysmith, around 50 houses were flooded on Tuesday, bringing the central business district to a standstill.

One of the two main roads, close to the Klip River, was flooded. Many businesses along the road had to close.

In the rural parts of Ladysmith, in Roosboom and Driefontein, about 50 houses were flooded. The people from Driefontein had to be housed in a community hall.

Dube's department would bring in engineers to assess Ladysmith's infrastructure.

"We will be bringing in engineers to assess the whole infrastructure of the city, looking at planning and systems in place, and assess the whole capacity."

She called on businesses to assist flood victims with food and blankets.

"Upon meeting with the families we will hear where government can assist families who have lost loved ones," she said.

Other areas affected

In the Ethekwini municipality, 290 households in Quarry road, Molweni, uMlazi, and Matlock were damaged.

In Ugu (Port Shepstone), 207 houses were hit, while 200 shacks in Umuziwabantu, five in Ezinqoleni and two in Hibiscus Coast, were affected, she said.

Some 21 households were affected in the Amajuba municipality in Newcastle, 10 in Danhauser and 11 in Emadlangeni.

Ladysmith deputy mayor Fana Madlala said on Wednesday the main road in the town had been opened but the taxi rank was still closed.

"There were reports that we could experience more problems with traffic around 13:00. We will try to keep the situation under control," he said.

Osman Amla, a computer shop owner in the Ladysmith central business district, said his business had been inconvenienced by the flooding.

"From a business angle we had lost because people could not come into our shops because of the water in the streets. Things have improved today [Wednesday]," said Amla.

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Read more on:    nomusa dube  |  pietermaritzburg  |  weather  |  floods

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