Heavy storms batters Newcastle – Cogta MEC lends support

The KZN province launching a disaster relief fund to facilitate donations from corporates and private individuals to bolster government efforts In mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The initiative is in response to the devastation wrought in the coastal areas of the province by the mega-storm of 9 October this year. This was during an breakfast meeting that was attended by the sponsors, government and members of the media in Durban 03.11.17

KZN Disaster teams have been dispatched to the areas of Newcastle after a tornado-like storm cut a swathe of destruction through the township of Osizweni, dickshalt, tearing off roofs, bringing down huge trees and power lines, and leaving thousands in the dark.

Residents said the storm, which hit around 11pm last night came in waves and led to houses flooding and becoming inaccessible. At this stage no loss of lives and injuries has been reported. Local disaster teams went out in force and worked around the clock to respond to emergencies and the teams will be given more manpower and energy with the involvement of the Provincial Disaster Management Center.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathy with the affected communities in the Newcastle Municipality. we are doing everything possible through our disaster teams to assist communities in need at this point. We are taking stock of all the incidents that have occurred last night. I have tasked the Provincial Disaster Center to coordinate with local municipalities and ensure that it is all hands on deck in caring for those in distress at this period” said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

Dube-Ncube has urged communities in KwaZulu-Natal, to remain on all time alert as weather abnormalities are becoming regular and more frequent. “It has become difficult to predict weather patterns due to these uncertain trends under the influence of climate change. Our greatest weapon is to be prepared at all times and stay up to date with reports concerning weather situations”; Dube-Ncube added.

Communities in the affected areas can contact Dr Thabethe on 0343284700

Or email dumisani.thabethe@newcastle.gov.za

Further Warnings

Today, 26 January 2018, the SA Weather services have warned of inclement weather in the Southern Parts of the province such as Amajuba, uThukela, uGu, uMgungundlovu and Harry Gwala Districts. There is a high risk of localized flooding. Disaster teams in these areas have been activated and communities are urged to stay alert.

Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for more information contact: Lennox Mabaso on 0828842403 or Msawakhe Mayisela on 0609664220.