Family urged to leave home after partial collapse of M4 highway

By SE-ANNE RALL Time of article published Dec 12, 2019

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Durban - As heavy rains continue to batter parts of the province, an uMhlanga family had to evacuate their home following the partial collapse of the M4 Ruth First Highway.

A section of the roadway collapsed during torrential downpours last month. Earlier this week, more of the roadway and repair work were washed away. This has now led to banks collapsing which is having an impact on properties nearby.

Andrew Fraser, who lives in Portland Road which is directly behind the M4, said he was told that he needed to pack up and move as a precautionary measure.

“Yesterday, the teams who have been working on repairing the road, arrived and told me that I needed to move. There were also officials from the city’s engineering unit and fire department.

“My wife and I packed up whatever we could. We will have to stay with friends until we are given the go-ahead to move back home,” he said.

Fraser said on Tuesday night, he heard more of the banks crashing.

Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad confirmed that they had asked residents to evacuate for their safety.

In Queensburgh, traffic had to be rerouted after a part of 4th Avenue in Malvern was washed away.

Part of 4th Avenue in Malvern was washed away yesterday. More of the banks along the M4 collapsed.

Chatsworth resident and community activist Omi Nair said the uMhlatuzana bridge was closed by members of the disaster management team.

“This is a very low-lying bridge so the decision was taken to close it. Residents said the river had been flowing rapidly but had not burst its banks,” Nair said.

Water rushes over the uMhlatuzana bridge in Chatsworth yesterday. The bridge was closed by the city’s disaster management team. Picture: Facebook

In Clare Estate, hearses could not access the Clare Estate Crematorium as the road had flooded. Coffins had to be ferried to the crematorium in 4x4 bakkies.

Vincent Chetty of the Clare Estate Action Committee said it was a common occurrence at New Germany Road, where the crematorium is situated.

“Usually we use 4x4s or tow trucks to assist,” he said.

The SA Weather Service has issued a warning of heavy rain leading to localised flooding and reduced visibility in in parts of Durban, iLembe, King Cetshwayo (Richards Bay), Ugu and uMkhanyakude district municipalities today.

For Durban, weather forecaster Stacy Colborne said there was a 60% chance of rain today, with a 30% chance from tomorrow to Sunday.

The Provincial Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department said disaster management teams were placed on standby but no incidents were reported yesterday from the heavy rain.

Acting Cogta MEC Peggy Nkonyeni urged residents to be cautious as conditions continued to pose a serious threat. “We have placed our teams on alert and they are monitoring areas and routes that are prone to localised flooding so they can provide adequate support to residents.

“The department is appealing to residents in low-lying areas to exercise caution as the risk of localised flooding is real.”

The Mercury

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