Relief efforts continue for tornado-stricken Tongaat community as death toll climbs to five



Published Jun 4, 2024


Relief efforts are continuing in the KwaZulu-Natal town of uThongathi, commonly known as Tongaat, after a tornado ripped through parts of the area claiming the lives of at least five people.

“The KZN government is responding to several incidents caused by heavy rains accompanied by strong wind and hail storms that battered parts of the province, resulting in extensive damage to households and infrastructure,” the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said.

“So far five people have sadly lost their lives in the eThekwini Metro which has been hardest hit and dozens of people are being treated for injuries in health care facilities,” said department spokesperson, Sboniso Mngadi.

“The uThongathi area, in the north of Durban has recorded the most incidents, with several homes severely damaged, roofs blown off, and trees falling on electricity lines causing power outages.”

A woman was killed when her home caved in, in uThongathi. Picture: Supplied

Other areas in Durban, including central parts, areas west of the CBD and Umgababa were also hit by heavy downpours, leaving homes and roads flooded.

Mngadi said the strong winds also affected communities in the Amajuba District and Umzinyathi District, where houses were damaged by the strong winds in Newcastle, Dannhauser, Nquthu, and surrounding areas.

Mngadi said disaster teams were currently assessing the extent of the damages while providing immediate relief including accommodating displaced residents in government buildings.

“Public facilities have been opened as safe havens for the affected communities as the assessment continues. Roads are being cleared using TLBs to ensure that rescue workers are able to attend to the injured,” he said.

Gift of the Givers on Monday night deployed a team to the area to assist with relief efforts.

Various other communities and emergency responders also assisted with gathering blankets, clothing and non-perishable foods for those affected by the weather.

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