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Evacuation Operations, Electricity And Communication Outages In eThekwini As Floods Return

May 22, 2022

 

By: Zahid Jadwat

 

Officials in eThewkini, KwaZulu-Natal, have confirmed that several overnight evacuation operations were conducted in parts of the city, including Tongaat and uMdloti, as heavy rainfall battered the region just over a month after the devastating floods of April. The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) is also monitoring rainfall and snowfall in other parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

 

On Sunday morning, Deputy City Manager of Durban Musa Gumede confirmed that 190 people were rescued, but no deaths have been reported. 

 

“We had to close one of our shelters which was flooded and we had to move people to another shelter. We also had to rescue people out of an old-age home in Tongaat [and] we had to move people out in uMdloti where infrastructure was compromised and we felt the building was no longer safe,” he said.

 

Gumede also confirmed that a number of main roads have been closed as a result of rising floodwaters. He said that the municipality will assess the extent of the damage in a meeting on Sunday morning. 

 

“Upon receiving early warnings from the South African Weather Services, municipalities and relevant stakeholders in the province activated coordinating structures and contingency plans. The provincial Joint Operation Centre has also been activated to meet regularly to monitor the situation and coordinate response measures,” said Lungi Mtshali, spokesperson for the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

 

Earlier this week, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned of potentially destructive rainfall in low-lying areas in parts of KwaZulu-Natal. The weather service issued a level 10 warning which is expected to remain in place until Sunday afternoon.

 

The Intergovernmental Committee on Disaster Management (ICDM), chaired by COGTA Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has issued a set of guidelines for residents in affected areas.

 

“The ICDM has made a call for people to remain indoors during the duration of the rains. People are requested to urgently report any incident of drowning that they might see and are urged to refrain from attempting their own rescue as this might have catastrophic consequences,” said Mtshali.

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