Hundreds evacuated as KZN floods wreak havoc while 3 bodies, 2 with 'gunshot wounds', found near river

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  • Three bodies were found next to a river in the KwaSeme area and admitted to the Phoenix mortuary. 
  • Hundreds of people have been evacuated and relocated to care centres across the province. 
  • KwaZulu-Natal remains on a Level 10 weather warning as heavy rainfall persists.

Three bodies have been recovered and hundreds of people have been evacuated following heavy downpours and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.

eThekwini municipality head of disaster management Vincent Ngubane said the three bodies were found next to a river at the KwaSeme area on Saturday afternoon and admitted to the Phoenix mortuary.

"What we have discovered is that two of those bodies had gunshot wounds and it is alleged that they were maybe killed somewhere else and dumped next to the river. We are still waiting [for the] SA Police Service to confirm that," Ngubane said.  

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the municipality had not received a comprehensive report on the impact of the latest heavy rains, but as "reports come in a worrying picture is, however, emerging".

Disaster management teams and emergency services officials remain on high alert, and a South African Weather Service (SAWS) Level 10 warning remains in effect.

Cars hang precariously at Surfside flats in Umdlot
Cars hang precariously at Surfside flats in Umdloti after heavy rainfall saw roads, cars and buildings flooded and washed away across KZN.

Kaunda said so far the greatest impact was expected along the coastal and north-eastern parts of the province.

"As the number of calls at the control centre has increased, the department has appealed to the SA National Defence Force to be deployed to the northern parts of Durban for urgent response.

"The metro police and fire department are assisting with water pumping and road closure where the roads are affected," he said.

Kaunda said 250 people were evacuated in Tongaat.

In King Cetshwayo severe damage was reported to a house which collapsed due to heavy rains and wind, he said.

"A family of nine members living in a one room house has been moved following damage to their house.

"The Zululand District is experiencing heavy rainfall and is being closely monitored," he said.

The Ilembe district was hugely affected with a number of families being left homeless and the road network infrastructure being affected, he said.

Kaunda said several roads across the province had been temporarily closed due to flooding.

"Relief interventions are ongoing to ensure that all community halls with displaced people are receiving adequate relief assistance, social support services, and medical assistance.

"In the event flood-prone areas need to evacuate people due to rising water levels, the open halls will be able to accommodate them," he said.

Ngubane said human settlement teams have been put on high alert to monitor the settlements located along flood-prone areas in order to monitor the need for evacuation.

"All emergency services teams were on the ground from last night, including search and rescue, SA National Defence Force, and private companies where evacuations were performed."

Ngubane said 16 disaster management coordinators have been placed on standby in order to conduct pro-active monitoring of high-risk areas, and to respond where required.

He said the parks, recreation and culture unit were also attending to fallen trees.

He said blockages in the CBD were cleared on Saturday night.

Ngubane said one family was evacuated in Ward 40 due to a collapsed informal dwelling and they were moved to Kwa-Nozaza temporary mass care centre.

He said 44 units at Waterways Retirement village in Tongaat were evacuated.

Ngubane said 190 people were moved from Tehuis to Wema Hall, and the municipality were providing them with relief including mattresses and blankets.

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