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Schools shut, authorities on high alert as heavy rains lash KZN causing flooding and damage

Rain in abundance came over Durban yesterday. Mehmood Ismail suffered in front of his house and a wall broke down because of the rain yesterday in Morningside, Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Rain in abundance came over Durban yesterday. Mehmood Ismail suffered in front of his house and a wall broke down because of the rain yesterday in Morningside, Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 12, 2022

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Durban - Schools across KwaZulu-Natal have been shut on Tuesday after continuous rain caused landslides, flooding and damage to property across the province.

Authorities were on high alert on Tuesday morning with teams from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs being deployed to flood ravaged areas where people have been displaced or affected by the rains.

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At least two people were killed as a result of flooding and several others were missing. Emergency services were working frantically to find the missing while cautioning motorists and pedestrians to be extra careful on the roads - many of which were water-logged.

Schools across the province were advised to close for the day following a circular that was issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education late last night.

The department said that the SA Weather Service had advised that a storm was sweeping through the province and in light of the damage and severity of the storm, it had taken the decision to close schools on Tuesday.

Schools were expected to re-open on Wednesday.

It comes after scores of families living in the Coniston Informal Settlement in Coniston- KZN had to be evacuated after the Umdloti River burst its banks on Monday afternoon.

Reaction Unit South Africa said it received multiple calls from residents reporting several women and children trapped in homes. Authorities spent two hours safely evacuating the residents.

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Provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka, confirmed that floods had claimed the lives of two people, one in eThekwini Metro ward 47 in KwaMashu and the other in ward 87 in uMlazi on Monday.

It was unclear on Tuesday morning what the extent of the overnight storm damage was or the cost of it.

Hlomuka said they were still collating the extent of the damage.

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“Disaster management teams have been evacuating people in areas that have experienced mudslides, flooding, and structural collapses of buildings and roads. The heavy rains have affected power lines in many municipalities with technical teams working around the clock to restore power.

“Residents in areas that are on higher ground are urged to open up their homes for their neighbours who are stranded as a result of the flooding caused by the heavy rains. Many roads are blocked and residents are requested to avoid unnecessary journeys,” Hlomuka said.

The inclement weather conditions are expected to continue on Tuesday and the South African Weather Service has warned of significant rainfall in eThekwini, KwaDukuza, Mandeni, Maphumulo, Ndwedwe, Ray Nkonyeni, Umdoni, Mkhambathini, Richmond, Msunduzi, uBuhlebezwe, uMlalazi, uMngeni, uMshwathi, Umuziwabantu, uMvoti, Umzimkhulu, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Umzumbe municipalities.

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