deadly STORMS wreak havoc

Mary Papayya, Canaan Mdletshe and Sapa

Mary Papayya, Canaan Mdletshe and Sapa

A motorist died and five other people were missing in KwaZulu-Natal after torrential rains caused havoc in the province at the weekend.

Emergency personnel said yesterday that the five missing people were feared dead but there was no confirmation from the area yet.

The incident was reported in the Ilembe district. District mayor Welcome Mdabe said they were still searching for missing people.

This weekend torrential thunderstorms washed away roads and bridges and flooded homes in KwaZulu-Natal, Soweto, Alexandra and Hammanskraal.

A motorist was killed on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast when his car was swept away.

This follows serious devastation in Soweto last Thursday when two people died. Three are still missing.

Heavy rains also flooded about 30 homes in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, on Saturday while three shacks were swept away in Alexandra on the same day, leaving residents homeless.

In KwaZulu-Natal rescue teams from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Durban's emergency services rushed to Stanger late on Saturday night when flash floods swept vehicles away at the Imviviana River.

NSRI duty officer Sean Serfontein said they found an overturned vehicle, in which a body was recovered. Witnesses said a second passenger had been swept away.

Rescuers are also looking for other vehicles that had been washed away.

In Soweto, parts of which were declared disaster areas after the floods, more than 200 people had lost everything they owned.

They were being assisted by the Al Imdaad Foundation, the Red Cross, the Gift of the Givers and others.