KZN Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has dispatched disaster management teams to various areas across the province where last night’s heavy storms wreaked havoc in local communities over the weekend. More inclement weather is expected in the province during this week.
Teams have been dispatched to Nkelabantwana location in Bulwer where strong winds destroyed houses and left many families homeless. Electricity power has been cut-off and those that have were injured have been treated at nearby health facilities. Other areas affected in the province include ward 1 in Abaqulusi (Vryheid), Nongoma Municipality, Ward 22, 2,12,6 and 21. The municipalities of Uphongolo, uMhlabuyalingana and Jozini have also been severely affected.
“Our disaster management teams are currently working in these areas and assisting all families that were affected by the latest storms. All reported incidents are being attended to as per our protocols and the public can rest assured that assistance will be provided,” said KZN MEC for Cogta Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
We indeed have our hands full as we respond to this incident happening across the province. We have set up a Provincial Joint Operations Center at the Provincial Disaster Management Center to coordinate responses on the ground. All our municipalities have been requested to provide additional capacity.
Unfortunately the weather bureau is still warning us of more severe thunderstorms for the rest of the week. We ask of all our citizens to remain on full alert and to avoid danger.
We know many community members sustaining injuries, houses being damaged and some being blown away entirely. In addition, several electricity poles were toppled, posing danger to the local community.
“With the risk of heavy rains and flash flooding, residents are urged to keep clear of low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. This warning is especially addressed to school-going children and their parents and guardians as many past incidents of flash flooding involved school children on their way to or from school,” said Dube-Ncube.