Disaster management teams deployed following heavy KZN rains

2017-02-22 15:58

WATCH: Dramatic footage shows floods sweeping through SA

2017-02-22 10:35

Flood warnings have been issued for the eastern parts of Eastern Cape, southern KwaZulu-Natal, the southern and western parts of the Free State and eastern Northern Cape, and Johannesburg and its surrounding areas.WATCH

Durban – Various disaster management teams were deployed in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday following torrential rains, the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) said.

It has been raining almost non-stop in the province since Sunday.

Cogta said it was forced to intervene in Newcastle where parts of the town have been barricaded from an overflowing river.

The department said vulnerable residents were temporarily housed in community halls.

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said resources were being directed mainly towards low-lying areas situated close to rivers.

Dube-Ncube said Cogta had helped those affected by the heavy rains by providing blankets, emergency accommodation and setting up soup kitchens.

"With every reported incident, our disaster management teams learn to operate more efficiently and, as a result, we end up responding to disasters faster," she said.

Motorists warned

Dube-Ncube assured the public that the department was "on top of our game".

"The only way to mitigate any likely disaster is for communities to be prepared. Municipalities must monitor roads, people must restrict movements and motorists must not take unnecessary risks," said Dube-Ncube.  

Earlier in the day, IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said they had attended to nine accidents.

"We attended numerous accidents from Tongaat to Stanger. Most of the accidents were vehicles going off the road due to aquaplaning."

Herbst advised motorists to not cross low-lying bridges and gave them tips on what to do should their vehicles start aquaplaning on wet roads.

"If your vehicle is aquaplaning, do not slam on your brakes. Try to reduce your speed and take your foot off the accelerator," he said.

Early morning flooding on the KZN North Coast. (IPSS)

Read more on:    durban  |  weather  |  floods

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