WATCH | 70-year-old Hindu temple destroyed during KZN's heavy flooding

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  • A Hindu temple was destroyed during heavy flooding in KZN.
  • The iconic temple had been around for 70 years. 
  • It will cost about R3 million to rebuild, its staff said.

A Hindu temple in Umhlatuzana, Chatsworth, was washed away on Monday evening as ongoing floods battered parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

The temple has been around for 70 years and has three temples on-site.

The main temple, which is called the Amman (the mother entity), where Hindus gather to pray, had water streaming into the building before it eventually collapsed later in the evening.

The temple's chairperson, Rodney Moodley, told News24 when he last saw the temple on Monday afternoon, he was not able to go inside as water was gushing through the many levels inside the building.

The temple building before the floods erupted.

The water levels rose to about five to six metres high.  

"The temple has seen many floods over the years, and it managed to keep standing. But this time around, it wasn't so lucky. It's devastating. I was sent videos of how the temple eventually gave in when it collapsed before being washed away," said Moodley.

READ | KZN floods: 'We didn't expect that much rain," says weather service

He said it would cost more than R3 million to rebuild the temple.

"The memories will be missed, lots of special worship moments took place in the temple. It would see thousands of people gathering to say prayers when we had huge special events taking place inside there," said Moodley.

Moodley said the collapse of the temple was even more "heart-breaking" because, over the Easter weekend, they had special gatherings planned which would see thousands of people of the Hindu faith gather at the temple to celebrate the festivities.

Inside the Amman temple that was washed away by the floods in KZN.

"We, unfortunately, can no longer hold the festivities at the site. Other temples in the area have kindly offered up their building for the gatherings, which we are grateful for. In the many years that I have been living in this area, I have never seen a flood cause this much damage... it's very sad," said Moodley.

According to Moodley, the other two temples were still standing - but, at this stage, he was unable to say how much damage was caused.

"No one was injured. We evacuated everyone when we saw the extent of the flood. We will be getting a structural engineer to check the building once everything calms down, so that we can get an understanding of what the damage is."

Moodley said there was nothing they could have done to stop the temple from collapsing.

"We are looking to rebuild the temple. Community members have come out in their numbers to assist where they can - and it has been wonderful to see people from different religions offering assistance."

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