File picture: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit.

LADYSMITH - Scores of families have been left homeless and were evacuated to community halls on Saturday night following a devastating storm that wreaked havoc in the Alfred Duma Municipality (Ladysmith), the KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance and traditional affairs department (Cogta) said.  

Disaster teams were kept busy as they had to respond to incidents in various wards, including wards 9, 20, and 8, the department said in a statement on Sunday. 

Many houses were completely damaged while others had their roofs blown away by the gale force winds that accompanied the storm.

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube was on Sunday leading disaster teams to assist the victims, provide emergency relief, and assess the damage, the department said.
 
"We would like to assure the affected communities that we will do all in our power to mitigate the impact of the families affected. We have activated all our teams and other intervener departments. Those families that have had to be evacuated from the area in the wake of yesterday's [Saturday] ferocious storm have already been accommodated in a community hall," Dube-Ncube said in the statement.
 
"We are working closely with the local mayors of municipalities to alleviate the impact of this disaster on communities in affected wards."
 
Cogta had issued several weather-related warnings to communities in the province as the summer disaster season continued to bring heavy rain and localised flooding to areas prone to such incidents. 

The department's disaster management teams had intervened in dozens of such incidents, the statement said.

African News Agency (ANA)