La Mercy family devastated after heavy rain damages their home
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Durban: A family of four were left with no choice but to move out after a portion of their home in La Mercy, north of Durban, was severely damaged during heavy rain on Tuesday.
According to the family, the incident happened after a stormwater pipe that runs between two properties burst in the early hours of yesterday morning.
A family member, who spoke to The Mercury at the scene and asked not to be named, said that the pipe gave way, resulting in the water entering the building and washing away huge amounts of soil underneath the house.
It is alleged that this caused the house to partially collapse.
The relative said that the incident took place just after 5am, when they heard a huge noise coming from outside the house.
Anticipating the possibility of a wash-away, the family moved towards the other end of the house, which was not damaged.
“While we were sitting, we just heard a big sound and that was when the wall just collapsed. The water that was coming down from the damaged pipe just carried on and washed away the soil and part of the house,” said the family member.
According to the family, the damaged part of the house had an en suite bedroom, a part of the kitchen, a bathroom and toilet.
When The Mercury visited the scene, the family was busy cleaning the house and preparing to move out as well.
Half of the road and the driveway had also been damaged, leaving the family’s vehicles stuck in the yard.
Local ward councillor Geoff Pullan said the incident was devastating, however he was glad that none of the family members were injured.
Pullan said even though this had been the only affected house in the area, there were fears from the community of a further mudslide if the heavy rains continued.
“We have engaged the city and reported the incident. Officials did come to check the damage. We are hopeful that the road will be fixed soon and reopened. To avoid further damage, I believe that the city should look at other ways to avoid mudslides in the future,” he said.
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela confirmed the incident and said that a further three houses elsewhere were affected by rain, with the worst being the La Mercy property.
Mayisela said that car accidents were also reported as a result of rain due to waterlogged roads, which could have contributed to vehicles aqua-planing.
Mayisela said no fatalities were reported yesterday due to the rains.
He said the city would assist the affected as far as possible.
He added that the damaged city infrastructure would be rehabilitated by the various line departments.
The KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka urged residents to exercise extreme caution due to the inclement weather conditions.
According to Hlomuka, there was another incident in KwaDukuza, where a house collapsed as a result of the heavy rains.
Hlomuka said that Disaster Management teams had been assigned to provide the necessary support to the affected family.
“Disaster Management teams are continuing to monitor areas that are prone to weather-related incidents. Residents who might experience any weather-related incidents are urged to contact their local disaster management centre,” said Hlomuka.