More-than-average rainfall causes havoc

2016-05-09 12:00
A year's worth of rain in KZN would help ease the severity of drought.

A year's worth of rain in KZN would help ease the severity of drought. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Disaster management personnel were dispatched on Sunday to various flood-hit areas across the province.

Heavy downpours resulted in flooding in some coastal parts of the province over the weekend, with the greater Durban area being the worst affected.

A statement yesterday from KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said many parts of KZN have been receiving more-than-average rainfall.

Mabaso said at least eight wards in Durban were affected, including including areas such as Isipingo, Malukazi, Sea Cow Lake, Lamontville, Chatsworth and Reservoir Hills. “At least one fatality has been reported of a one-year-old child in Umlazi. Preliminary reports indicate that the death was caused by a landslide …”

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said they had activated all their disaster centres and increased the capacity in eThekwini to speedily respond and assist affected communities.

“Our teams are on the ground, providing all forms of emergency support that may be required by residents. Our Joint Operations Centre is open 24 hours and we appeal to people to contact our teams urgently should they require assistance,” she said. “The focus for now is on providing the first line of support and assisting people in distress and possible danger of flooding.”

She warned motorists to exercise caution as some roads are flooded, and there was a possibility of debris obstructing thoroughfares. The Jacobs off-ramp was temporarily closed yesterday as a precautionary measure.

Mabaso said it was too soon to tell if the rains had provided any relief from the drought currently gripping the province. Communities are advised to contact disaster and emergency teams toll-free at 0800 000 953.

Meanwhile, a Durban community rejoiced when a seriously injured four-year-old boy was pulled out from under the rubble of an informal house that had collapsed while he was in it, paramedics said yesterday.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said the structure was built from wire and rocks. Paramedics and fire services had to cut through the wire before they were able to dig through the stones to get to the child.

“A shout of joy was heard when they managed to pull the very traumatised boy from the rubble,” he said.

Earlier, a man was rescued by police officers after a shack collapsed.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said neighbours had already begun digging in the mud and debris and had found the man pinned under a piece of corrugated iron. Police officers then freed the man.

However, police search and rescue divers searched fruitlessly for a second day for two people presumed drowned after being swept into a river in Chats­worth on Saturday.

Three women and a four-year-old girl had been washed into the flooding river while trying to cross it.

Officers, aided by specialised search and rescue dogs, on Saturday recovered the bodies of two of the women. The search for the remaining woman and girl, who are presumed drowned, was continuing yesterday. — WR-News24.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather  |  rain

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