Severe Rainfall Causes Widespread Damage in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban | Infrastructure news

Intense and ongoing heavy rain in KwaZulu-Natal since Sunday night has led to significant problems, including deteriorating roads, damaged bridges, and flooded homes. The persistent downpour has left a trail of destruction in its wake.

The KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department has been working alongside disaster management teams and a coalition of municipalities and law enforcement agencies to promptly respond to the reported damage. As they reported, “Families whose homes were affected by water damage have been successfully evacuated. Preliminary reports indicate that two houses were destroyed due to heavy rains in the uBuhlebezwe Local Municipality, in the Harry Gwala District, while another two sustained partial damages. Thankfully, there have been no injuries or fatalities, and the affected families have chosen to stay with relatives.”

In eThekwini, two houses in KwaMashu were flooded, and another residence in Molweni was damaged by a fallen tree.

The roadways have also taken a hit, with several roads damaged and temporarily closed to ensure public safety. Notably, part of the Huletts Bridge on the old South Coast Road has collapsed. Additionally, a boundary wall at Botanic Gardens on John Zikhali Road in Morningside gave way, making parts of the road unstable, and it has been deemed unsafe for use by traffic enforcement officers.

Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi, the KZN Cogta MEC, highlighted that disaster response teams are on high alert, continuously monitoring the ongoing rainfall in the northern parts of the province. She emphasized, “The rains are still continuing in the northern part of the province, where a level 6 alert has been issued by the South African Weather Services. Our disaster response teams are activated and will respond promptly. We also want to commend residents for heeding the issued warnings. The risk has not diminished, and we urge them to exercise caution continuously.”

Motorists are advised to follow the instructions of traffic officers due to the temporary closure of certain roads. Municipalities are well-prepared, and residents living in low-lying areas are encouraged to relocate to safer places if the situation deteriorates. Public facilities such as community halls, churches, and schools are ready to serve as shelters should conditions worsen.

On a different note, Remona Mckenzie, a Greyville ward councillor, reported that a burst pipe beneath a manhole contributed to the road collapse and property damage near the eThekwini mechanical services workshop. In addition, Juan van Dyk, representing the Montclair Community Policing Forum, received information regarding the damage to the bridge on South Coast Road. Engineers conveyed that the rain had eroded the supporting material, resulting in structural damage.

The Department of Education has issued guidelines for school management in preparation for possible flooding. Although no reports of school damage have been received so far, school principals are reminded to follow specific guidelines in the event of extreme rainfall, high winds, or any other natural disaster. Parents and students are also urged to exercise caution before venturing out in these adverse conditions.

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