Durban — The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) says disaster management teams are responding to areas in the Midlands and South Coast that were damaged by strong winds.
Cogta MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi said that disaster struck again as disaster management teams respond to several incidents following the severe thunderstorms that struck parts of the districts of Ugu, Harry Gwala, and uMgungundlovu on the evening of Monday, February 20, 2022.
“Reports received indicate that strong winds caused severe damage to houses and infrastructure including roads and electricity. Roads were also blocked by fallen trees,” Sithole-Moloi said.
“Technical teams are working around the clock in these areas to restore power.”
Sithole-Moloi appealed to residents to be vigilant as inclement weather conditions are expected to continue in large parts of the province.
She said there is a warning for damaging waves along the coast.
“The South African Weather Service has issued a warning for waves as high as 4 to 6 metres for areas that are along the coast,” Sithole-Moloi said.
“Communities located along the coast are urged to be vigilant during this time.”
Sithole-Moloi said that disaster management teams are on the ground to assess the extent of damages and will also continue to assist affected communities.
Meanwhile, northern KZN areas are still taking stock of recent heavy rains and flooding.
Last week, Sithole-Moloi said that a total of six lives have been lost across Umkhanyakude, King Cetshwayo, Umzinyathi and Amajuba districts as they have been the biggest casualties from the latest torrential rains that have been received over the past few days. Two people are reported as missing at this stage.
Assessments indicate that 139 homes were destroyed and 158 were partially damaged by the storms.
The disaster management teams are still continuing with assessments as different areas continue to receive more rain, while the ground is already saturated with water.
Sithole-Moloi said that in terms of public infrastructure, roads and bridges across the province have been most affected.
“We extend our condolences once more to the families of Nokulunga Mchunu, 22, and Thulani Mabaso, 52, both in Dannhauser, Thobile Innocentia Hadebe, 39, in eNdumeni, Skhulile Msweli, 25, in Mtubatuba, Lindani Dlamini, 17, in Jozini, and the family of the three-month-old infant in Newcastle,” Sithole-Moloi said.
“Nkonzo Moses Buthelezi, 37, and Nomathemba Caroline Buthelezi, 42, both from the eNdumeni Local Municipality in Dundee, were swept away while attempting to cross a flooded river. Disaster management personnel are still conducting search operations,” she said.
Sithole-Moloi said the total cost of the damages is still being compiled by working together with various organs of the state.
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