Flooded roads in South Durban
Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has dispatched disaster management teams to respond to the massive storm that is currently causing havoc around the province.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department  (Cogta) is coordinating relief efforts amid the worst storm to hit many parts of KZN.

According the department, the storm has so far caused major damage on hospitals, factories, homes and other key infrastructure.

“It has caused power outages and at least  two deaths have been reported so far. Many residential areas, businesses especially in eThekwini Municipality are reporting flash flooding.

Major incidents have been reported in Nquthu Local Municipality, in ward 8 of Mbewunye where an 8 years old girl was struck by lightning and in ward 2, KwaMngxangala area, where a 46 years old male drowned while trying to cross an overflowing river,” said the statement.

In the South Coast, the Mbango and Umzinto bridges were flooded. The traffic authorities were monitoring the situation.

The Acting MEC for Cogta, Weziwe Thusi, said they have also activated Joint Operations Centers in all affected municipalities which are coordinating relief and rapid response efforts.

“We are urging residents in all parts of the province to exercise extra caution as the heavy rain and gale-force winds will be in the province for the rest of today.

"We are also urging motorists to avoid all but necessary travel as some roads such as the N2 freeway has been closed in both directions at Amanzimtoti due to severe flooding caused by a massive storm that hit this area this morning. Motorists are requested to tune into weather reports as they plan their journeys,” said Thusi.

The City of uMhlathuze, in Empangeni and Richards Bay, on Tuesday afternoon issued an urgent warning to all residents, visitors and road users to stay alert as heavy rains accompanied by strong winds were making its way from Durban towards the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natalup to Maputo.

“Residents are also urged to ensure that they stay indoors and close all windows and doors. Pets and all other animals need to be kept safely and preferable under shelter until the storm passes,” said Umhlathuze spokesman Mduduzi Ncalane.

 He cautioned residents against driving or walking anywhere for the duration of the storm and advised those who were on the road to find the nearest shelter such as fuel stations until the storm is over.

Heavy rain is expected until 8pm tonight. 

The City of uMhlathuze disaster team, including fire and traffic officers have been briefed and Ncalane said they were on standby for any eventualities. 

“Residents are also requested to adhere to all evacuations orders as these are meant at saving their lives,” he said.

Communities can contact the following numbers of disaster management in their respective municipalities:

Provincial Disaster Center: 0800 005133

Ethekwini: 0834615073 ( Mr V Ngubane)

Ugu: 0823324000 (Mr Makhosi Mgobhozi)

uMgungundlovu: 0828860747 ( Lindiwe Serero)

Uthukela: 0763318177 (Bongi Hlomuka)

uMzinyathi: 0828422859 (Mzwandile Hadebe)

Amajuba: 0836041904 (OT Hadebe)

Zululand: 0828132925 (Sipho Dlamini)

uMkhanyakude: 0769253252 (Sfiso Ngema)

King Cetshwayo: 0726252983 (Thabo Mlambo)

Ilembe : 071 879 7155 (Sfiso Gqubula)

Harry Gwala: 0828057892 (Thandi Dzanibe)

Sunday Tribune