Flood destruction: KZN wants disaster declared as damage scales R1bn

2019-04-29 14:23
Rescue workers search for survivors as residents look on after a house collapsed during flash floods in Umlazi township. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Rescue workers search for survivors as residents look on after a house collapsed during flash floods in Umlazi township. (Thuli Dlamini, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The cost of damage to various parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) following last week's heavy rains and localised flooding has run into billions of rand, Premier Willies Mchunu said on Monday.

"The estimated damage currently stands at R1.1bn with the eThekwini damage alone estimated at over R685m. Railways, roads, houses full of furniture and personal possession were damaged and at places destroyed entirely," Mchunu said at his Durban offices.

READ: Minister visits flood-ravaged Eastern Cape to assess damage 'first-hand'

Mchunu was updating the media about the provincial cabinet's resolutions relating to the recent floods.

According to Mchunu, the death toll for the floods alone had reached 70 in the metro after the body of a young man was recovered in eTshelimnyama near Marianhill.

A total of 1 469 people were displaced and they had to be housed temporarily in community halls or at the homes of their neighbours and relatives, he added.

"Over 50 people were injured and had to be treated in hospital. We continue to search for two citizens who are still missing. Our search and rescue [efforts] are still continuing in this regard."

Mchunu added that there had been a total of 235 damaged private homes in eThekwini. This figure continues to rise.

"Many families have been rendered homeless. In addition to displacement, many people's lives were interrupted by power outages, the majority of which have been attended to."

Declaration of provincial disaster

Mchunu said the provincial executive had resolved to classify the province a disaster area, "because the province alone cannot cope with these incidents".

"The Provincial Executive has also resolved that relevant stakeholders must ensure infrastructure that will be utilised for elections is restored to normalcy without further delays."

He also urged the public to attend mortuaries in Gale Street, Pinetown and Phoenix, where dedicated staff have been stationed to assist bereaved families.

"A task team has been appointed to co-ordinate all the support, including the burials. We want to once again request the next of kin of all the deceased to visit the mortuaries for identification process so that there are no delays from the government's side that will impact on the funeral dates."

He added that eThekwini metro set up a dedicated support desk at the eThekwini Disaster Management Centre for all the bereaved families.

The support desk has a hotline that can be called on 031 367 0094.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    willies mchunu  |  durban  |  weather  |  floods
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.