News24

Toll mounts as heavy rains batter KZN

2012-12-11 16:29

Durban - Ten people were confirmed dead by KwaZulu-Natal authorities because of heavy rains in the province.

Another three had been reported missing, provincial Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube told reporters in Durban.

Her department was responsible for disaster management in the province. She said it was too early to give an indication of the value of the damage caused.

eThekwini spokesperson Eugene Msomi said earlier on Tuesday that some shacks collapsed and others were swept away on Monday night in Chatsworth's Bayview informal settlement, Welbedacht, and Claremont.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Tuesday six children and an adult were missing after being trapped on an island in the Umzinto River, near Durban.

On Monday evening, the NSRI's Durban sea rescue crew were asked to help after heavy rain in the area swelled rivers, spokesman Craig Lambinon said in a statement.

"Due to excessive flood torrents on the river these seven people could not be reached..."

He said police search and rescue crews resumed the search on Tuesday morning.

Three other people were rescued from the iFafa Club Marina Resort, south of Umzinto.

Police helped three more people to safety in KwaMashu, Durban, Lambinon said.

Another nine homeless people were rescued from the flooded Umbilo River in Durban on Tuesday morning.

They were sleeping under a bridge when the water level rose and trapped them, Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

One person was rescued using ropes across the river and the rest were hoisted up with a rope lowered from the bridge.

Meanwhile four people were injured when a goods train plunged into the Amanzimtoti River near Durban on Tuesday.

"The raging river had eroded the sand from under the train tracks, causing the train to plunge several meters into the torrent[ial] waters," said Botha.

On Monday the homes of more than 300 residents in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, were damaged by large hailstones.

"It has been raining hard for the past hour. The plastic sheeting we provided to affected residents to seal their roofs has been blown away," said Al-Imdaad Foundation project co-ordinator Abed Karrim.

"The houses are being flooded. People are in a state of shock at the damage the storm is causing."

The storm tore through Ladysmith and surrounding areas such as Acaciavale, Ntombi's Camp and Steadville on Sunday night.

Co-Operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube said KwaZulu-Natal would need millions of rands to help those homesteads hit by hailstorms in parts of the province.

She said the department would look at speaking to insurance companies in a bid to get them to speed up the processing of claims.

She led a disaster management team who helped those left homeless on Monday. Dube told residents the province was on full alert and ready to act.

In Umzinto authorities had to cordon off a cemetery due to rains washing away soil and exposing the contents of at least three graves, she said.

Comments
  • bruce.williams.1044186 - 2012-12-11 16:45

    That is terrible!! This weather system is definitely changing for the worse.

  • lucky.mpoza - 2012-12-11 17:10

    ....."they were sleeping under the bridge..." these are the people who would do anything to defend JZ while they are suffering. They will vote for him in 2014. Do you think he cares that there are people who have no shelter? Me thinks not! *singing* Africa! Oh Africa!

      graham.t.edwards - 2012-12-11 17:50

      How do you know they voted for JZ? Maybe they were immigrants?

  • earthian.earthian - 2012-12-11 17:14

    Mother Nature restoring balance!

      shaun.miekle - 2012-12-11 21:08

      Correct. I was 'shot down' when I suggested that. Mother Nature is racist as well

  • Suzanne Viljoen - 2012-12-11 17:45

    What a disaster!! The ANC should really start building RDp houses in safer places. They must deliver!!!

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