Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Disaster Management teams have responded to the uMgungundlovu and Harry Gwala districts after heavy rains left a trail of destruction.
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Siboniso Mngadi said that after inclement weather on Sunday and Monday night, the KZN Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) is responding to the disasters caused by damaging thunderstorms in the Umgungundlovu and Harry Gwala Districts.
Mngadi said preliminary reports from their teams, in Pietermaritzburg, which is under uMgungundlovu District, said various areas were affected by heavy storms in the form of hail and heavy rains.
“A number of incidents were reported within Msunduzi Local Municipality. The affected areas are France, Mpumuza and parts of Imbali Township.
“Roofs were blown away, and some houses were completely destroyed. Our teams, working with Msunduzi Local Municipality, are continuing assessments and providing relief to the affected families,” Mngadi said.
“In Harry Gwala District Municipality, strong winds and hail storms occurred in various wards of Umzimkhulu Local Municipality causing damage to households.
“Our reports indicate that seven houses were totally destroyed, 19 were partially damaged. These incidents left seven people homeless.
“The disaster teams have provided relief materials to the affected families. Fortunately, no serious injuries or fatalities have been reported up to this point.
“Our teams are also conducting damage assessments in other wards within the Umzimkhulu area.”
KZN Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi expressed sympathy to all affected families and urged the disaster teams to ensure all affected families are profiled to receive assistance.
“As the department, we sympathise with all families affected by this damaging weather in all areas.
“Our disaster teams are currently on the ground conducting assessments to ensure that all affected communities get assistance.
“We have engaged our sister departments, including Human Settlements and Social Development, to render services, especially to those who may have lost ID documents, and Human Settlements will provide relief to fix damages,” Sithole-Moloi said.
“As the rainy season is upon us, we are experiencing this damaging weather more often as a province.
“We urge communities to take precautionary measures to minimise the impact of these disasters. Let us make sure that we move to safer areas when there are threats and avoid travelling during heavy rains.
“Our disaster teams have activated the joint operations clusters where we work with all municipalities, NGOs, and law enforcement agencies to respond to disaster matters.”
She said the PDMC has engaged all districts to report any incidents and indicate any support required.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon, the Msunduzi Municipality said that on Monday, at about 6pm, the severe thunderstorm accompanied by lightning, very strong wind and heavy rain, continued to wreak havoc in various areas within Msunduzi and caused damage to many households in the municipality.
“The reported incidents include Henley, France, Machibisa, some parts of Imbali, Dambuza, KwaPata, kaShange and Ashdown,” the municipality said.
Deputy mayor Mxolisi Mkhize is on the ground with a delegation of senior managers and staff to assess areas in Wards 4, 21 and 22 where major incidents occurred.
The municipality also said that water levels on the roads and rivers have increased.
“The municipality remains on high alert. The assessments are still ongoing. Residents are warned to be cautious and practise safety precautions during this time,” the municipality said.
“The electricity department is also working around the clock to restore power in affected areas.”
The municipality also said that the inconvenience is regretted.
On Monday evening, the municipality said that at around 1.30pm on Sunday, a thunderstorm accompanied by heavy rainfall, strong winds and hail in some parts caused damage to several households in different areas of Msunduzi.
It said that on Monday, communities were affected by strong winds and heavy rains, again resulting in damage.
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