Condolences pour in for KZN families as death toll rises to 32

2019-04-23 18:27
Rain severely affects traffic flow. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Rain severely affects traffic flow. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Condolences are pouring in for the families who lost their loved ones during heavy rains and floods that hit KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Monday. 

At least 32 people died in the province as a storm system battered South Africa, News24 reported earlier.

National government said it was deeply saddened by the deaths and was working around the clock to alleviate the impact of the extreme weather conditions on communities and to bring the lives of the people affected back to normality.

Government also said that it was encouraged that affected communities came together during a crisis to help those in need.

READ: Hundreds evacuated over flooding as heavy rain batters Port St Johns

"South Africans are resilient and strong. During a crisis, we support each other and work together to bring back normality to communities. These tragic incidents have also been marked by acts of courage and kindness that make us proud to be called South Africans," said Phumla Williams, spokesperson of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

Williams said rescue work by emergency services continued and displaced communities in KZN would be temporarily accommodated in community halls where they will receive emergency relief assistance.

"In the affected town of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, developing disaster situations may be directed through the Port St Johns Disaster Satellite Centre on 073 596 8082," she said. 

Meanwhile, the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have also offered their support to devastated communities.

The IFP has called on the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance to immediately release disaster relief funds and urgently get to work on rebuilding homes and providing adequate shelter to all the affected communities.

"We plead with all community members to assist with disaster relief efforts and to be patient, vigilant and to steer clear of all unsafe roads and areas affected.

"We commend all emergency response personnel who are working around the clock to assist communities across the province with immediate relief," the IFP said in a statement.

The ANC said it was pleased with the prompt response of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed in the Eastern Cape to help with rescue missions where over 300 homes in Port St Johns were flooded. 

"We have experienced some of the heaviest rains in recent years. In some areas there have been reports of mudslides, houses collapsing and flooding of roads which have made it extremely difficult for emergency services and rescue teams to access some areas," the ANC said.  

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