All roads in the southern parts of Durban have been closed as heavy rainfall accompanied by heavy winds pounded the city and surrounding areas on Tuesday morning
The southern parts of the city were said to be the hardest hit and some parts of Amanzimtoti flooded, hail was also reported in the city centre and surrounding suburbs.
The eThekwini municipality, in a statement, urged all residents to stay indoors until the storm passes.
EThekwini spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said wind speed was measured at 70km per hour.
“Residents are also cautioned against driving or walking anywhere for the duration of the storm."
She said: Our Disaster Management Call Centre is currently experiencing high call volumes. Residents are requested to please only call the Disaster Management Call Centre for emergencies on 031 361 0000,” she said.
The South African Weather Services said in a statement on Tuesday that there was still a warning for heavy rain over KwaZulu-Natal and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape before the weather system moves off the country later today (Tuesday).
Thunderstorms, they said, were also expected to return to the country on Saturday.
The South African Weather Services said in a weather alert that heavy rain, about 50mm in a 24 hour period, leading to localized flooding was expected over the coast and adjacent interior as well as over the southern interior along with gale force south-westerly winds.
Rescue Care's Garrith Jamieson said on Tuesday that their team had been kept extremely busy in the south of Durban, in the Amanzimtoti area.
They responded to a taxi that was stuck in a ditch, leaning to the side, with the rising water levels, on the N2 north bound, opposite the Galleria Mall.
Paramedics entered the water to assist three people who were scared they were going to drown, out of the taxi.
They got taken to safety.
The N2 is closed in both directions due to the flooding at the moment.
"We were then called through to Kingsway Road, where a family was stuck inside their below road level house. Paramedics and SAPS entered the house and assisted a 14-year-old boy and an elderly lady get to safety, via a wheelchair.
Both those patients have been taken to hospital for further medical reasons. At this stage, I would advise all motorists to please avoid the south parts of Durban. I would advise all people who don't need to go south for anything urgent, not to. The roads are severely backlogged and wet".
Jamieson said: “Rescue Care paramedics are currently in Rotterdam Road, in the Bayhead area, where a container has fallen onto a police vehicle. Unfortunately one policeman has passed away and the other has just been extricated after a lengthy extrication.”
The team is also on its way to Sarnia Road to attend to reports of five vehicles submerged under water, with people inside.