Mop-up operations have begun across the KZN Midlands where a severe thunderstorm ripped through parts of the province and caused havoc on Wednesday afternoon.
Disaster management teams have begun with mop-up operations following the storm that brought hail which damaged buildings and vehicles. Heavy rains coupled with strong winds also occurred and caused localised flooding and uprooted trees.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said in a statement that some of the affected areas include Pietermaritzburg, Ndwendwe, Maphumulo and Mandeni. Disaster management teams have been deployed to conduct assessments in these areas. The department added that no fatalities have been reported so far.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka has directed disaster management teams to remain on alert as large parts of the province are expecting a disruptive amount of rain from this afternoon going into the evening.
The South African Weather Service on Thursday morning warned that more disruptive rainfall, that could lead to localised flooding in low-lying areas, roads and bridges, is expected in the province on Thursday. The inclement conditions could also result in localised mudslides.
It is expected to affect the districts of Zululand, uThukela, uMkhanyakude, Amajuba, Harry Gwala, uMgungundlovu, Ilembe and the eThekwini metro.
Hlomuka has cautioned residents to avoid crossing flooded walkways and bridges.
“We expect that driving conditions on our roads could deteriorate and we are therefore urging motorists and holidaymakers to be patient and drive with caution. We have directed disaster management teams to monitor areas that are prone to weather-related incidents so that they can respond faster,” said Hlomuka.
Residents who experience any weather-related incidents can report them to their respective ward councillor or their respective local or district disaster management centre.