By Annisa Essack
Inclement weather has lashed across KwaZulu-Natal over the past few days, causing localised flooding around the province and large scale property damage.
In La Mercy, rains washed down the gradient from the Anton Lembede Academy towards Twilight Avenue and the parallel Marina Road further down the hill. It caused cars to get stuck in the sand and debris. The Reddy family were rudely woken up to their home torn in half by a landslide caused by a 600 mm stormwater drain bursting at the academy.
The severely damaged house partly collapsed into a deep gully caused by the landslide.
“It is not completely clear when the landslide first occurred, but we think it was in the early hours of the morning,” said the councillor for Ward 58, Geoff Pullan.
He said that most of the homes in the area are built on top of sand and sandstone, which quickly gave way once the initial gully had formed. Pullan added that the steady rain continued to widen the gully, causing further damage.
“The landslide continues to widen the gully with the rain still ongoing, and I saw further damage while I was there this morning. A street light was pulled down, and more and more of the Reddy’s home is being taken in the landslide.”
Municipal engineers who arrived at the scene this morning turned off the water and electricity as a precautionary measure.
According to Pullan, several cars were trapped by the sand and debris that flowed down the gully on Marina Road, but there was no damage to the homes.
“There have thankfully been no injuries, and we are helping the affected families evacuate.”
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