Coast KZN

15 May 2017

Durban Rains: beaches remain closed, several people rescued

IOL Daily News (Staff Reporter) Picture: Picture: Storm Report SA


Durban’s emergency services have had their hands full dealing with several calls resulting from the heavy rains that pounded the city over the weekend.

The eThekwini Municipality said on Monday that several power outages from various parts of the municipality were reported, particularly around Dube Village in the Inanda area.
Faultsmen were on site to attending to all reported power outages .

Reports of localised street flooding, due to blocked drains, have been received,” city spokeswoman, Tozi Mthethwa said.

“The municipality’s Emergency Control and Disaster Management Unit is logging all reported complaints and dispatching teams to undertake assessment of damaged areas. For assistance residents are encouraged to call 031 361 0000 or report the incident to their Ward Councillor,” she said.

Mthethwa said that due to high tides, Country Club and Thekwini beaches will remain closed until further notice.

There had been approximately 160mm of rainfall that has been recorded since Friday.

Meanwhile, twenty-two people who were trapped inside a bus after it submerged in flood water following heavy rains had to be rescued in Richards Bay.

The incident was one of several that occurred at the weekend after heavy rains pounded KwaZulu-Natal.

And as heavy rains continue to batter KwaZulu-Natal, provincial disaster prevention and management teams have deployed teams across the province to assist and even evacuate flood-stricken people.

The rains, which began on Friday has led to localised flooding.

Lennox Mabaso, spokesman for the KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said there had been a number of sporadic incidents that disaster management teams responded to on Sunday night.

“These include the 22 people who were trapped inside the bus as it got submerged into the water near Nseleni outside Richards Bay. Swift responses by the disaster teams from King Cetshwayo municipality and uMhlathuze ensured that all passengers were rescued to safety,” Mabaso said on Monday morning.

“The other bakkie reportedly with three passengers was also rescued and all passengers are safe. We are still frustrated by some people and drivers who attempt to drive across flooded roads despite all the warnings we are issuing,” he said.

Mabaso added that at least 200 people in Mzingwenya near Richards Bay were evacuated at the weekend while several other communities were being assisted.

“We urge communities to cooperate with our teams and move when asked to do so,” he said.

Mabaso said in the uGu District disaster management teams had received reports of few mud housing structures collapsing in uMzumbe municipality (2 houses), in uMdoni (6 houses), in uMuziwabantu (ward13, 2 houses).

“At this stage, there are no reported fatalities as a result of the bad weather across the province. Disaster teams continue to monitor what is happening in various areas. The province has activated Joint Operations Centres across all municipalities to ensure rapid responses on the ground,” Mabaso said.

Disaster teams are monitoring mostly the low-lying areas of the province and informal settlements where the risks of landslides and damage to makeshift structures are likely to occur.

Authorities are urging motorist to drive with caution in the wet and slippery conditions.