Durban – A one-year-child has died in uMlazi following heavy rain and flash floods over the past 48 hours in coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the death was caused by a landslide in Ward 88,” KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs department spokesman Lennox Mabaso said on Sunday.
He said MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube had dispatched disaster management personnel to various flood hit areas across the province. Mabaso added that extensive rain had caused flash floods in some parts of the province, with the greater Durban area being the worst affected.
Parts of the province had received more than the average rainfall usually expected throughout the month of May in just three days.
In the eThekwini Metro, areas affected include Isipingo, Mega Village, Malukazi, K Section, Bayview, Sea Cow Lake, Lamontville, Chatsworth, and Reservoir Hills.
“We have activated all our disaster centres and increased the capacity in eThekwini so that we can speedily respond and assist affected communities. Our teams are on the ground providing all forms of emergency support that may be required by residents. Our joint operations committee is open 24 hours and we appeal to people to contact our teams urgently should they require assistance,” said Dube-Ncube.
She said the focus “for now” was on providing the “first line of support and assisting people in distress and possible danger of flooding”.
“We urge communities to co-operate with the instructions of emergency personnel. We also urge motorists to exercise caution on the roads as some roads are flooded and there is a possibility of debris that may be obstructing thoroughfares.
“We have temporarily closed the Jacobs [South Durban, N2] off-ramp as a precautionary measure. Indeed our teams have their hands full but we are managing the situation,” said Dube-Ncube.
But the MEC, who for over a year has been talking tough on water saving measures to avoid chronic water shortages as the region faces a drought, said the rain was welcomed.
“It’s too soon to tell if there will be an impact in breaking the drought disaster. We remain on full alert as weather services have warned us to expect more rain”.
Communities were advised to contact disaster and emergency teams on the toll-free number 0800-000-953.