Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Nomusa Dube, and her colleagues inspect flood damage in the Msinga area near of northern KwaZulu-Natal. PICTURE: Anthony Bannister

Durban - At least four people are still missing after the Tugela River and its tributaries burst their banks, flooding homes after heavy rain in the Msinga area of northern KwaZulu-Natal this week.

Late on Tuesday, two bodies had been recovered, but their identities had not been made known as their families had not been informed.

The main bridge into the area collapsed, making it difficult for rescue crews to reach affected communities, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube said on Tuesday.

Search and rescue crews are on the scene and are searching for those who went missing during the flood,” she said. “We are still hoping that we will find the missing people alive.”

Spokesman Lennox Mabaso said 25 houses were damaged and 98 people were affected.

The Dlamini family lost three relatives who were swept away when the Isibumba River burst its banks.

Siblings Amanda Dlamini, Duduzile Chonco and Siyanda Mnyaka were swept away with their house, said Mabaso.

Mdu Nxumalo, from the Umgungundlovu district municipality, said two people had died in the Impendle area.

Displaced families were housed in the community hall.

“We have engaged traditional leaders on the identification of more appropriate land where families can rebuild their houses far away from the flood plane,” Dube said.

Weather forecaster Wisani Maluleke said more thunderstorms were expected in northern KwaZulu-Natal areas, and lightning posed a risk.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said the R33 route between Dundee and Greytown was closed because of the washed-away bridge at Tugela Ferry.

The Mercury