Severe thunderstorms expected across KZN today, warns SA Weather Service
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DURBAN: According to the SA Weather Service (SAWS), severe thunderstorms are predicted for parts of the country today.
The inclement weather conditions are expected to affect the Districts of Harry Gwala, uThukela, uMgungundlovu, uMzinyathi, Zululand, and King Cetshwayo.
“The latest reports received from the SAWS, indicate that the province can expect severe thunderstorms this afternoon, going into the evening. The inclement weather conditions could cause flooding of roads and low lying bridges,” said KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka.
He said disaster management teams will continue to monitor areas that are prone to weather-related incidents.
So far, 10 900 people have been affected, from 2 068 households across the province. In this number, 700 houses were totally destroyed.
Hlomuka said the estimated cost of the damage currently stands at R3.2 billion.
“Disaster management teams are still busy with assessments of the extent of the damage in some of the municipalities, where inclement weather conditions resulted in 205 incidents, which include strong winds, lightning strikes, structural fires, heavy rains, structural collapse and drownings,” he said.
During the summer season, the province of KZN normally experiences weather-related incidents, such as heavy rain, that leads to localised flooding, hail, severe thunderstorms, and structural collapses.
The latest report on the incidents that have taken place in the province, since December last year, shows that 24 lives have been lost – 18 drownings and six lightning strikes – as a result of weather-related incidents, with one person reported missing.
Hlomuka said this number is expected to increase, following the severe thunderstorms that struck the province at the weekend.
Disaster Management teams are still consolidating this information, working with other agencies of government.
Affected municipalities have been requested to identify displaced communities for prioritisation by relevant departments.
Hlomuka said affected municipalities have been requested to submit reports on the extent of the damage, so that the provincial Disaster Management Centre can determine appropriate remedies to provide additional support. The Department of Cogta has allocated relief stock to districts that will, in turn, supply affected local municipalities.
The MEC commended disaster management teams, across the province, for their speedy response to the incidents that have struck large parts of the province since mid-December.