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Army called out to assist as heavy rains pound KZN

A soldier is seen coming down a rope from a SANDF helicopter. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA

A soldier is seen coming down a rope from a SANDF helicopter. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA

Published Apr 12, 2022

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Durban - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been activated by the KZN disaster management centre to assist amid the four-day spell of inclement weather, which caused flooding, landslides, and multiple deaths.

With residents in low lying areas at severe risk, CoGTA spokesperson Senzelwe Mzila said SANDF were called out to provide aerial support if necessary.

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KZN’s eThekwini region bore the brunt of the torrential downpour yesterday, with numerous reports online about people evacuating their homes due to flooding.

A house in Umdloti, just north of Durban, was seen in a video completely destroyed as muddy water flowed through, leaving destruction in its path.

Residents living in informal settlements also had to vacate their homes amid the storm.

Residents from the Coniston Informal Settlement are seen frantically trying to vacate their flooded homes. Image: Supplied by RUSA.

The city decided to open up community halls across eThekwini to house affected residents.

Latest information suggests the Clermont, New Germany, Waterloo, Othongathi, Amawoti and the Mariannridge halls have been opened up.

“Disaster management teams have been evacuating people in areas that have experienced mudslides, flooding, and structural collapses of buildings and roads. The Provincial Disaster Management Centre has activated support from the South African National Defence Force for them to provide aerial support where necessary,” Mzila said.

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In the southern parts of Durban, Amanzimtoti and Isipingo were heavily flooded and damaged.

Near the old airport, a container terminal collapsed as dozens of shipping containers were lying across the road at the M4/N2 split.

A video online shows the entire N2 motorway flooded in both north and south bound lanes while a container floats by.

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Members from the Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) also had a busy night, with 175 reports of flooding, Prem Balram said.

Rusa officers managed to rescue two people trapped inside a flooded home in Canelands, north of Durban, at around midnight. With little access to resources, officers used a rope system to safely extract the occupants.

RUSA officers rescuing a person from a home in Canelands. Image: Supplied.

Minutes later, they had to rescue six adults and three infants who had climbed onto the roof of a temple to escape the rising water.

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The eThekwini secure Facebook page also put up a list of roads around the city that are no go zones.

The SA weather service has issued a warning for residents to be extra cautious as heavy rains are expected to continue in parts of the province.

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