Government attempts to clean up KZN storm damage

2017-10-11 19:34
Damage caused by a storm in Durban. (Supplied)

Damage caused by a storm in Durban. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban – The damage caused by a storm that has thus far claimed eight lives in KwaZulu-Natal could run into hundreds of millions of rands, government has said.

From severe flooding at hospitals and schools to the damage of roads, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for human settlements Ravi Pillay said that cost to repair the damage caused by Tuesday's storm would likely continue to escalate.

"It is difficult to predict cost. In King Edward alone we identified six areas that require immediate attention. Our estimate over there is around R25m. If you extrapolate that to other buildings, it is probably in the hundreds of millions."

ALSO READ: Durban harbour remains closed after devastating storm

Pillay said his department would also be looking to ascertain how damaged infrastructure could be improved.  

A host of public services were severely affected following a violent storm that battered KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.

Several schools and a number of hospitals, particularly in the eThekwini metro area were badly affected, acting cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Wesizwe Thusi said on Wednesday.

Large-scale destruction

She was speaking at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital in Umlazi after a brief tour to survey damaged hospitals. She confirmed that the death toll following the floods had risen to eight. She said the figure could rise as many people were still missing.

Thusi, health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Pillay visited the King Edward Hospital earlier in the day.

The hospital suffered large-scale damage, particularly flooding and roof damage, during the storm that saw almost 100mm of rain fall within a few hours in Durban.

"The torrents of rain have also caused enormous damage to [other] healthcare institutions largely in the eThekwini district," Thusi said.

Thusi said that outside of the eThekwini metro the Nquthu municipality reported two deaths, including that of an 8-year-old who was struck by lightning. She said another person, a 46-year-old man, drowned while crossing a low-lying river.

She confirmed that the six casualties in the metro included one municipal employee who died on Russell Street when a public toilet collapsed. A police officer died on Rotterdam Road when a container fell on the vehicle he was in.

"In addition, many more people have sustained injuries, some of them serious, and all are being treated in various healthcare facilities."

Equipment damaged

Thusi confirmed that the roof of Addington Hospital's dental block was blown away during the storm, affecting the clinic and casualty wards.

She said that the casualty section and resuscitation rooms at RK Khan Hospital were flooded while sections of Wentworth Hospital's roof were also blown off. Saint Aidan's Hospital's administration block was flooded.

Meanwhile, the roof of Clairwood Hospital's X-ray department was blown off, damaging equipment and causing flooding.

According to Thusi, displaced communities were temporarily accommodated in community halls where they were receiving emergency relief assistance.

"As many as 500 power outages were reported in eThekwini yesterday, many of them affecting large areas. Municipal technical staff have been working round the clock to restore power supply to the affected areas through alternative networks."

Schooling disrupted

She said that disaster management teams had been working through the night to clear blocked roads and remove uprooted trees and debris.

According to Thusi, most schools' day-to-day running was disrupted as most pupils were sent home early.

She said that 42 schools were "gravely affected" including 12 schools in Ugu, 24 in Umlazi, four in King Cetshwayo district and one in Pinetown.

"Nine of these are high schools and the department of education has raised concerns about the upcoming matric examinations in these schools. Plans are underway to ensure that pupils from all affected schools will be able to sit their exams as per the set schedule."

Read more on:    durban  |  weather

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.