Five die in KZN storms

2012-03-04 22:41

Richards Bay - Although cyclone Irina is not expected to hit the coastline of Northern KwaZulu-Natal head-on as previously predicted, the heavy rainfall and gale force winds have left at least five people dead and scores of homes flooded or destroyed.

In the uMkhanyakude District, KwaZulu-Natal's  most northern coastal district, four people are presumed to have drowned in the Hlabisa and Mtubatuba local municipalities although, according to the province's department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), the deaths have yet to be confirmed.

Cogta spokesperson Vernon Mchunu said the SAPS are currently searching for the bodies.

“One of them drowned while trying to cross the Wela River at Nhlwathi area in the Hlabisa Municipality the other three drowned at Enkovukeni River in the Shikishela area within the Mtubatuba municipality.

"Fortunately, divers who had been put on standby as part of the joint rescue operations plan, are currently scouring the rivers for bodies,” said Mchunu.

A 24-year old student from eThekwini Metro died after a wall collapsed on her.


According to Cogta by Sunday evening nearly 40 houses in KwaZulu-Natal were reported to have been either partially or completely damaged.

Within the uThungulu District, which incorporates Richards Bay, four houses were destroyed while at least 20 homesteads have been submerged.

Richards Bay has limited access to its beach and piers.

In the uMkhanyakude District a home near Jozini collapsed on a 56 year-old woman, breaking both her legs.

Mchunu said in the Zululand District five homes were damaged in Ulundi and Nongoma, while in the Ilembe District only one household with eight residents was damaged thus far.

Beaches closed

The eThekwini Municipality closed the N2 highway near Prospection on Sunday afternoon due to flooding and on Sunday morning they closed the beaches.

In Umlazi and Chatsworth two children were injured when parts of their homes collapsed.

Vehicle accidents have been reported in the Ugu, Zululand and uThungulu districts, claiming two lives.

Motorists driving on the N2 between Durban and Pongola are asked to drive with caution with at least 13 minor accidents already reported, largely due to aquaplaning.

Approximately 400 traffic officers have been deployed throughout the province with at least 85 officers in Richards Bay and 70 in Durban on standby.

Soup kitchens have been set up in both the uThungulu and uMkhanyakude districts.

The SAPS has placed all search and rescue teams within the province on standby while the SANDF is prepared to deploy eight helicopters and ground vehicles if necessary.

KwaZulu-Natal's disaster management centre told the Zululand Fever that they are in constant contact with the affected district disaster management centres every 30 minutes.

  • Anthony - 2012-03-04 23:28

    cyclone what cyclone

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-04 23:52


  • Sylvia - 2012-03-05 00:40

    That's really terrible, but at least it's nice to know that we have 400 traffic officers.

      a3aanvdz - 2012-03-05 04:20

      What they gonna do? Give the cyclone a ticket for speeding?

      Boer - 2012-03-05 05:43

      Must be waiting close to a KFC just in case their is some spare chicken floating about.

      mbambo.shi - 2012-12-11 22:20

      Do they want Indians, Coloureds and White Traffic Officers NOW???.

  • Manny - 2012-03-05 06:53

    More free houses!!! Thanks Irina

  • Ian - 2012-03-05 06:59

    sandf prepared, really, prepared to do what, strike and toi toi,

  • Marion - 2012-03-05 07:21

    May those who died RIP. What does it help if they are in constant contact with the disaster management centres if citizens cannot contact said disaster management centres?

  • lappies14 - 2012-03-05 07:43

    "Fortunately, divers who had been put on standby as part of the joint rescue operations plan, are currently scouring the rivers for bodies,” This means that they are looking for people who have ALREADY lost their lives instead of trying to prevent them from dying at the hands of this disaster in the fist place. Pathetic how government handles this.

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