Heavy rains leave trail of destruction, kill four in KwaZulu-Natal

Four people have lost their lives following the heavy rains which devastated parts of KwaZulu-Natal this week.

Provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi said on Thursday that three of the victims were from eThekwini while one person died in the Ugu district municipality on the south coast. One person is still missing.

Nonala Ndlovu, spokesperson for the department, said preliminary reports indicate extensive damage to road infrastructure, electricity, sewerage systems, and housing. 

“One is in Ugu and about 70 in eThekwini. There were over 100 houses that were partially destroyed,” said Ndlovu.

“We do have people who are housed in community halls, and there’s immediate relief that’s been provided to those people.”

The provincial government officials have compiled a preliminary report after assessing the damage in storm-hit areas in eThekwini and Ugu. 

Ndlovu noted that interventions have been implemented to assist the people who have been severely affected or displaced, and that teams from human settlements have already started with repairs. 

“They are engaging to try to secure building materials for some of the people, and they are putting measurements in place to try and facilitate people’s homes and to see if other people can be assisted with alternate accommodation.”

According to Ndlovu, the damage was reported at 10 schools, although further assessments are still under way.

“In response to the destruction, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, through the provincial disaster management centre, has provided immediate relief materials to affected victims,” she said.

The materials include over 300 food parcels, 2 750 blankets, 5 500 plastic sheetings, and 550 emergency boxes as part of the winter contingency planning across all districts and the metro.

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