Durban beaches remain closed as a 'precautionary measure'

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The UPL Chemical Plant in Cornubia was torched during to the unrest in July.
The UPL Chemical Plant in Cornubia was torched during to the unrest in July.
Thabiso Goba

EThekwini Municipality has issued a public reminder that the beaches, north of the uMngeni River up to Salt Rock, remain closed as a precautionary measure due to the recent Cornubia warehouse chemical spill.

The spill that occurred when a chemical warehouse in Cornubia was torched during the recent civil unrest.

"The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, swimming, bait collection and picking up of dead species. Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited as they have been exposed to toxic chemicals and could be harmful to human health.

"This warning and temporary closure of beaches remains in place until the threat has been determined to be abated," said eThekwini in statement on Thursday.

The municipality said results of samples taken are due back from specialist laboratories next week, after which authorities will reassess the temporary closure of the beaches and related activities.

"A chemical clean-up company has been appointed to clean up the spill as well as any contamination. Specialised clean-up crews are on site to deal with the collection and disposal of dead species in a responsible manner.
"Authorities are continuously monitoring the area to determine the extent of the impact of the spill. Thus far, there has been a fish kill in the oHlanga estuary and its adjacent beach area, with washing up of dead species up to uMdloti Beach," said eThekwini.

Members of the public are urged to report any further contamination or fish kill on 083 253 6618.

The City's environmental health unit can also be contacted on 031 311 3555 during office hours to report any pollution matters or complaints.

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