Durban - While rain continues to fall throughout the city, residents are urged to remain calm and take the necessary precautions to safeguard themselves and their homes. This follows a warning from the South African Weather Services about heavy rains predicted for the eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, especially along the coast this week.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout today until the afternoon. Thereafter, SA Weather said rainfall is expected to moderate. 24 hour rainfall expectations suggest that places along the coast may reach 70-80mm.
Tozi Mthethwa, eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications, said residents should not panic but take precautionary measures to ensure safety during this period.
“These measures include staying indoors and off the roads, if possible. People should also avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped within a vehicle by rising waters, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. Residents living in informal settlements are also advised to secure their roof sheeting,” she said.
The impact of this is that roads could become flooded leading to traffic disruptions, especially for commuters in the morning. Small streams may also rise sharply, with low-lying bridges overflowing. Mudslides are a possibility along river embankments.
Nomusa Dube-Ncube, provincial MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said her department’s disaster management team has been placed on alert in the in eThekwini, Ilembe, King Cetshwayo, uMkhanyakude and Ugu districts.
“We are urging our communities to take precautions and those who are planning to travel need to take into consideration the inclement weather. We have also instructed our disaster management teams to monitor key routes that are prone to flash flooding,” she said.
Dube-Ncube said the warning comes at a time when the province is gearing up to host thousands of holidaymakers.
“Natural disasters are a risk in KZN as heavy rains and floods leave millions of rands in damages and occasionally result in loss of life. Parents must ensure
that children are safe and do not go out when the weather is bad. Those residing in low-lying areas need to find shelter on higher ground,” she said.
Emergency plans have been activated in municipalities to ensure that adequate support is provided to those who might be affected by the heavy rains.
Warmer weather has been predicted for the weekend.