8 killed in Durban floods

2011-11-28 11:16

Durban - A violent storm killed eight people in Durban and Pietermaritzburg on Sunday night and destroyed scores of homes.

The extreme weather, which struck hours before the opening of the UN climate change conference in Durban, caused flooding and widespread damage.

The Sunday night deaths brought the number of people killed by floods in KwaZulul-Natal to 13 in less than two weeks. Last week, five people died in the province due to heavy rains.

KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance department spokesperson, Mthatheni Mabaso said seven people were killed in Umlazi and Clermont townships, south and west of the city, on Sunday night.

"We have been told they died when their houses collapsed. We have also been told that about 100 homes were flooded and damaged in Isipingo," he said on Monday.

According to paramedics another man, aged 44, was found under the rubble of his house in Quarry Heights, Durban early on Monday morning. The house collapsed on Sunday night, Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

Homes were flooded in Durban's affluent areas such as Umhlanga and Newlands.

"This shows that even the posh areas are not spared of the effects of climate change," said Mabaso. Co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube would visit some of the affected areas on Monday.

"She will be accompanied by her disaster management team. They will assess the damage," he said.

Heavy rains

Several people, including a one-year-old baby, were rescued from their Durban homes early on Monday after flash floods, Botha said.

Families in four homes on Randles Road were stuck in waist-deep water after a heavy downfall.

"At around 01:00, Netcare 911 paramedics, their rescue team as well as the SAPS search and rescue were called to the four houses that had flooded to waist deep in the heavy rain.

"Rescue personnel assisted an elderly lady and a baby less than 1-year to safety. Both were treated for the cold and the elderly patient had to be treated for an asthma attack."

In Pietermaritzburg several areas were damaged by heavy rains on Sunday night.

Paulpietersburg, Gingindlovu, Nkandla and Eshowe were the most affected during last week's floods. Three people died in Paulpietersburg, and two in the eThekwini municipality.

Up to 20 000 delegates from more than 190 countries are gathered in Durban to thrash out a plan to counter global warming and the catastrophic climate change, including extreme weather, it is causing in many parts of the world.

  • nortee - 2011-11-28 11:43

    Homes were flooded in Durban's affluent areas such as Umhlanga and Newlands. "This shows that even the posh areas are not spared of the effects of climate change," said Mabaso. Eeerrrmmm.... which Newlands is this person talking about? The Newlands that I know and lived in (Newlands East) and the other Newlands (Newlands West) are definitely not "posh" areas... Or has it been that long since I've been there that it somehow changed? *scratches head*

      richard.hipkin - 2011-11-28 13:18

      Yes it has, there is change... also not all of Umhlanga is posh either.

  • simisha - 2011-11-28 12:08

    I am of the understanding that this weather phenomenon is attributable to La Nino and not climate change. What this shows is that we are vulnerable to the effects of climate change - but we cannot say with certainty that this storm is a result of climate change or normal weather irregularities.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-28 16:48

      I have a very strong suspicion that this storm has something to do with the weather. I will check my theory with the next storm.

  • Lionel - 2011-11-28 12:20

    Mobilitate's iphone and android apps can help citizens report flood damage quickly and effectively and enable municipalities to gain an overall view of the situation and plan and execute to resolve issues. Go to and log all flood damage issues.

  • Tracey - 2011-11-28 12:35

    so does this silly woman think the the weather chooses its areas??????

  • SirFGrumpy - 2011-11-28 12:44

    Hectic storm! I vote they take the COP conference to a resort in the Sahara where its unlikely to rain! We've had big winds, lots of rain and now a huge storms, blame it on COP. I hate to think what will happen if no agreement is reached :(.

  • Winsome - 2011-11-28 13:14

    Storms don't discriminate - people do!

  • Jo - 2011-11-28 15:16

    No mention is made of the damage done further south in the Amanzimtoti area.

  • somacaulay - 2011-11-28 15:43

    They seem to cry global warming as if durban has never experienced floods before. I remember the Natal floods in 1987 that killed around 300 people due to heavy rain and flooding. But global warming wasn't the extreme political tool back then as it is today.

  • Roy - 2011-11-28 21:43's the rainy season...the rains come. If you build your house on the shifting sands you can expect what?? Hmmm....

  • RxeS3 - 2011-11-29 00:17

    the aliens are ANGRY very ANGRY...

      Liv - 2011-11-29 06:17


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