Durban — Various emergency services operating in the City of eThekwini rushed to the aid of people affected by this week’s storm.
They shared this in the form of videos and pictures.
Start Rescue spokesperson Warren Brauns said that Tuesday’s rainstorm and flooding had Start’s control room on high alert as a number of emergency calls were received from all areas around greater Durban.
Brauns said that Start members, Netcare 911 and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) members came together to help those in need, working tirelessly to help the communities and families affected by the floods.
“We would like to wish all those families who suffered loss and damage to homes and property our thoughts and prayers during this time of hardship and struggle,” Brauns said.
“We would like to thank all our volunteers, community members, Netcare 911 and the NSRI for their time and effort in helping the victims of this natural disaster. May they find strength in numbers as they recover from the losses incurred.”
Brauns said that the next few days and weeks will no doubt be a period of assessment, planning and rebuilding in the wake of the destruction, however, Start Rescue is always there for any emergency, whether medical, accident or rescue related.
KZN VIP Protection Services spokesperson Gareth Naidoo, recapped what happened on Tuesday in the northern Durban areas.
Naidoo said that KZN VIP paramedics and Tactical Units, law enforcement agencies, community policing forum, CIB and all other parties worked from just after 2pm on Tuesday afternoon as the Inanda and Bhambayi areas were hit by torrential rains and damaging winds.
“KZN VIP medics treated approximately five patients for minor to moderate injuries in the dense weather conditions. Meanwhile, routes were blocked by falling trees, light poles and high water levels. Some of the injured people who were being assessed by medics explained that their valuables were being stolen and that they were unable to go to the hospital for treatment and eventually remained at the scene,” Naidoo said.
He said that they also experienced mass power outages in the residential areas.
“We have so far received information from another emergency service that one person was swept away during the rains as the river began rising rapidly in the Zwelisha area,” Naidoo said.
“Our sympathies to all those affected but we also have non-government organisations who are providing aid to these areas and we thank each and every person for their assistance.”
IPSS Medical Rescue managing director Dylan Meyrick said that IPSS Search and Rescue confirmed that its rescue teams worked into the early hours of the morning, responding to various calls for help from those affected by the flooding in Durban and surrounds.
“In one incident, seven people were washed away. Metro Police Search and Rescue, Durban Metro Fire Department and SAPS Search and Rescue managed to recover four of them, but are still searching for the remaining three. It is unknown the total number of people missing in all areas as of yet,” Meyrick said.
“Rescue teams returned this morning (Wednesday) to continue search and recovery efforts.”
Meyrick also thanked all role players who assisted and continue to assist during search and rescue operations.
Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said that several homes were flooded and dozens of vehicles damaged during flash flooding.
Balram said that Rusa members responded to approximately 40 call-outs pertaining to flooding from 4.15pm.
“Reaction officers evacuated a family of four from their residence in Woodmanor Place in Trenance Manor after a stream at the rear of the property widened and burst its banks,” Balram said.
He said that a 50-year-old woman contacted Rusa requesting urgent assistance after her 90-year-old mother slipped and fell in their flooded home on Munn Road in Ottawa. The caller was unable to remove the elderly woman to safety.
“Reaction officers immediately responded and rescued both women from the residence,” Balram said.
He also said that several motorists between Phoenix and Verulam were stranded after their vehicles became submerged in water. Flooded roads resulted in traffic delays.
“One person is presumed to have drowned in Zwelisha while attempting to cross a flooded river,” Balram said.
He added that several reports of property damage were also received during the downpour.
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