KZN still assessing storm damage

2013-01-15 00:00

UNDER clear skies, the provincial government will speed up the mopping up after the severe storms that devastated parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

“The extent of the damage is expected to run into millions of rand, but the exact figures will be known as soon as the assessment has been completed,” Vernon Mchunu, a spokesperson for the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department said yesterday.

Between Christmas Day and Wednesday last week, storms wreaked havoc in the province, leaving over hundreds of homes damaged and claiming the lives of at least eight people.

“The provincial government is to intensify the awareness and education campaigns across all districts to ensure that we minimise risk, because it seems clear that adverse weather conditions are to be experienced every year, given the climate change phenomenon,” Mchunu said.

“We are currently expediting the process of assessing the extent of the damage that has been caused by the adverse weather conditions since the start of the holiday season,” said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube.

“As soon as the assessment is finalised, we will be able to provide for extensive repairs.”

Dube expressed sadness at the number of lives lost due to lightning strikes.

On Wednesday last week, sisters Phiwokuhle (13) and Hlengiwe Dlamini (6), and their neighbour Nomfundo Zwane (6) died after they were struck by lightning while returning from a tuckshop in kwaChezu near Nkandla.

Another of the fatalities was Honiphile Goge, who was nine months pregnant and was expecting to go into delivery at any time. She died after being struck by lightning on Sunday last week.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved and, working with municipalities, we have assisted in the burial of the deceased as part of our preliminary and immediate response,” said the MEC.

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